What is that?! You have milk and it's called colostrum. A readily available milk since 16 weeks in pregnancy.
I am growing weary of the mental exhaustion with hospital births and WHEW!!
It is an isolating conundrum to say the least. But what is most infuriating is the routine dismissal of instincts between honey and babee and the bonding process. The broken bonding leading up to breastfeeding initiation through routine assessments that can truly wait is disheartening.
Everything is rushed.
Everything is hard down to the manhandling of the babees.
Something so simple as waiting is hindering breastfeeding rates.
Pregnancy is soft.
Breastfeeding initiation should be soft too.
I am a perinatal community health worker and I support communities through the dissemination of information on prenatal care, childbirth into breastfeeding that caters to expectant families of color through home and hospital births. With about 2 years and 30+ births total and in no way professing to be a childbirthing expert or downplaying obstetric training I can't help but to believe what my own eyes are seeing at times, honey!
It's the immediate and unnecessary chaos with healthy honeys and their healthy full term babees after birth. Too many chefs in the kitchen synchronically preparing to slow down milk production while burying a mothers confidence with procedure. Intent is implied here. You will never convince me that the healthcare system doesn't know what they are doing.
Afterbirth care at the hospital is a stark contrast to the afterbirth care in the Midwifery model of care in home birth. And I will type proudly that all 12 of my homebirth honeys are still exclusively breastfeeding since my first birth in 2021.
Midwifery home birth model of care works for breastfeeding moms in the early days of breastfeeding.
The most common fear of not having "enough milk" occurs within in those first two days of colostrum feeding because our eyes are truly bigger than our babee's stomachs.
An adult's concept of full is not the same as an infant.
Babees have small tummies that fill up fast and burn off fast. You have to continuously latch your babee for a growing tummy gradually spacing more time into feedings. Remember your babee is expected to double its weight within the first 3-4 months so that's a lot of eating. And frankly, you have to trust the process or do what you have to do to get your babee home and continue to breastfeed.
Ethically, I can't promote formula
to you if it is not medically necessary. And ethically, I do not counsel medically fragile babees. I refer those out to IBCLCs as a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist it is out of my scope.
Entering the hospital you want to maintain the mental fortitude to confidently allow your body to take over. Birth isn't rushed and neither is the initiation of breastfeeding.
The coercion served kind and with compassion at first by hospital staff often turns to very violent language such as "starving your babee" or "drop your babee because medication".
Honeys, are confident and doing well Day 1 but by day 3 they are not in the same mindframe about feeding when I left.
What is it? What has changed? The support. Several different nurses and doctors with differences in education, training and personal opinions toward breastfeeding and the Fed is Best counseling is LOUD in the room. I see you!!
We must step back and assess. We must wait sometimes.
Keep nursing or start pumping & supplement. Do what you feel you need to do to get your babee home but that does not require me to push or promote formula to you or your babee because we simply can't trust the process.
That is a decision you decide for yourself. I promote readily available colostrum collection or donor milk. Again, formula is for emergencies. I'm bound to a WHO code of ethics as a breastfeeding advocate.
Find one of those social media influencers to do it because NO.
Breast is best.
Formula will do!
I guess. Formula is the standard in the hospital and breastfeeding is treated as the exception. Trust, they will offer formula.
Hospitals aren't training staff on lactaion education voluntarily. Each nurse takes it upon themselves to learn more to efficiently help honeys feed their babees and begin the process of Lactogenesis II in the early days. I actually like the nurses that find out what I do and tell my honeys oh you're good then. I once supported a C Section mom and spent two overnight days with her to ensure she was able to latch her babee frequently and not sleep through her feeding session did to the medication.
She had a plan. She had my education m.
And it worked.
If you've taken the time to study the body and prepare for emergencies we should educate ourselves on the normality of childbirth so that everyone has that training to encourage and support honeys during the early days especially day 1 & 2 of feeding. Also stop stressing these moms OWT by accusing them of feeding their babees.
I take the time to teach or help you nurse well. With hospitals there isn't much time. Or there is a staff shortage. Whatever the issue is the burden shouldn't fall upon the mother. Hospitals medicalized birth and took it out of our homes and left honeys to fend for themselves with feeding.
So, let's talk about what I've noticed and know to be true with evidence based information on breastfeeding initiation. Take notes honey!!
The hopsitals have it ALL wrong.
They just want quiet, clean and FULL babees and unfortunately that does not help your babee latch or signal your brain to produce the right hormones such as oxytocin & prolactin for your milk supply to begin increasing in volume and releasing.
Hospitals have me standing there with my arms folded many times reminding folks of the Skin to Skin on the birth plan. Well here are those routine hospital procedures with healthy moms and full term healthy babees and its hinderance into breastfeeding initiation:
- forcing labor (inductions & medication given during inductions, IVs, epidurals, etc.)
- no immediate skin to skin (overstimulated babee)
- not remaining skin to skin for at least 6 hours including cesareans
- baths (separation from babee)
- eye ointment (separated from babee)
- wiping the vernix off (now the babee’s temp drops & mom can’t smell it so prolactin production is delayed)
- heat lamp (separated from babee)
- immediate cord clamping (now you can take my babee away)
- newborn assessments (take my babee away again)
- forcing babees to latch immediately for a few min then taking them away (force feeding babees)
- vigorous suctioning (creates oral aversions)
- swaddling (prevents skin to skin)
- hats (prevents you from smelling babee which is primal and produces prolactin, the milk making hormone)
But your milk hasn’t come in though… 👀
The afterbirth care with the attending Midwife includes assessing vital signs, all of which can be done with honey remaining Skin to Skin with her babee.
-bonding, facilitated by skin- to- skin
-bleeding, normal bleeding vs. hemorrhage
-birth of the placenta
-signs of shock
-tears and bruising
-breastfeeding proper latch
-newborn color, breathing & temperature
Do you notice where the emphasis of care is placed? It begins with the mother first then an assessment of babee. If babee is placed in prone position immediately after birth babee can remain Skin to Skin through the Golden Hour and beyond. The Midwife will return within 24 for a full newborn assessment. Why can't we let afterbirth be so simple.
Moral of the post
Do not let them separate you from your babee.
unless it is medically necessary.
THIS is what causes a delay in breastfeeding initiation and milk production. Lack of Skin to Skin. Coupled with infrequent latching or pumping is what contributes to a delay in milk production. They can’t stop you from doing skin to skin whenever you want. They can guilt you into fearing you’ll drop your babee though. This is why partner support and/or doula support is heavily needed to ensure you and babee will be safe. Together. Even more with Csections.
When procedures are offered ask yourself these question?
Will this prevent me from doing skin to skin with my babee?
What is preventing you from being skin to with your babee for the first 6 hours?? Can this assessment be done skin to skin?
The rise in temperature from skin to skin contact matters .
The pressure from babee’s weight on your belly matters.
The smell of your babee matters.
The proper positioning of skin to skin matters too.
All of these actions tell your body your babee is here and should be ready to feed soon
My passion is to protect this time because it crucial and the most inconsistent and forgotten step on initiation if you truly want to breastfeed. If you go along with all the assessments your milk production could possibly be delayed a few days longer than the normal three. Time is of the essence.
How will you prepare yourself?
How will your arm yourself with the knowledge to assert your boundaries when it comes to hospital policy and organically protecting you and your babee's feeding journey?
We won't have better birthing outcomes if we continuously disrupt the mother babee bonding experience within the first 6 hours of birth.
"Skin to skin is where home is. And home is where the honey is."
Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding: Protecting the Mother and Baby Continuum, by Mary Kroeger and Linda J. Smith (Jones and Bartlett, 2004).
Impact of birthing practices on breastfeeding: Protecting the mother and baby continuumM Kroeger, LJ Smith - 2004 - books.google.com
How Birth and Interventions Affect Lactation
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