A few days ago a friend had her second child. With the first, like many other moms unfortunately, she had a lot of difficulties with breastfeeding: cracks, mastitis, the need to supplement intermittently ... and in the end a bittersweet taste. Despite everything, I was determined to breastfeed this second child as well, but I wanted to know how to act from the beginning: "Miryam, what golden rules do you tell me so that this time breastfeeding is good for me?"
First of all, I said, what happened the first time doesn't have to happen again, and in fact second feedings tend to go better. But also, there are things that we cannot control ourselves and they do not go as planned. Having clarified this, I will tell you my golden rules for a happy breastfeeding.
1. You are capable, you can, empower yourself
The ability to produce milk and breastfeed is a characteristic of the human being. Women have fed their children this way throughout history, why shouldn't you be able to? Cases of true hypogalactia (the inability to produce enough milk to exclusively feed the baby) are extremely rare.
Typically, a mother has no problem producing enough milk to feed her child (or her children). And all milks (with rare exceptions) provide the necessary nutrients (let's banish that fear that "my milk does not feed").
2. Be guided by your instincts
I remember a mother who told me at her first baby check-up that she was determined to give her a bottle, but that in the last days before delivery she began to leak colostrum, and after delivery the baby was hooked on its own (that's what I know known as hooking or spontaneous bonding, you can see a video at this link).
This seemed so wonderful that she decided to continue breastfeeding. I also see many mothers worried because the baby cannot last three hours between feedings, or because they are told that they use them as a pacifier; and I ask them: "Are you okay like this? Is it what you want to do?" Well go ahead.
3. Get informed
It is important to have clear ideas before delivery. Decide if we want to breastfeed and know its benefits. In the preparation courses for childbirth there is usually a talk about breastfeeding, we can also consult the doubts with our midwife and / or gynecologist.
There are several interesting books on breastfeeding on the market. In addition, in 2017 the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality published the Guide for breastfeeding mothers, which I recommend reading.
4. Surround yourself well
There are times when breastfeeding goes smoothly, but in many others there are ups and downs, so it is good to have a favorable environment and have the necessary support. There are already many IHAN hospitals and health centers (Initiative for the Humanization of Care at Birth and Lactation).
It may also be helpful to have a lactation consultant (IBCLC; trained nurse, midwife or pediatrician) who can help and advise us. And breastfeeding workshops and support groups are very beneficial. Turn a deaf ear to the advice or criticism of people who are not trained in these matters, and consult all your doubts with your reference professional.