Breastfeeding: Big Questions and Local Answers
Breastfeeding is a big part of motherhood during the early stages of your baby’s life. Even if you know how important this choice is for your baby, breastfeeding can be difficult to get right at the beginning and there can be struggles even experienced moms face. The good news is that Seton Medical Center Harker Heights has a team dedicated to helping moms have the best breastfeeding experience possible.
Lactation Consultant, Kelly Leland, has worked with all types of moms that all have different questions and different needs. Read the Q&A to see what other moms have asked about and how to solve common issues.
Nutrients in breastmilk
The nutrients in breastmilk are so important. Each person makes something different for their baby and the needs that they have. Formula, although at times are needed and has come great ways from when it was first invented, it is still machine made. Breastmilk provides all the proteins, carbohydrates and enzymes needed for development, formula does have some of the same needed things but is harder to breakdown and use for these tiny humans.
Benefits of breastfeeding
The mothers I have worked with say the benefits to them are being able to solely provide all of their baby’s needs, and this is so important. Breastmilk from each mother and each child is different and formulated for their specific baby. Whether you had a mirco-premie or a full term baby, your body knows what your baby needs. That is one of the most impressive things our bodies can do as women besides being able to grow and birth a child.
The bond that is created with breastfeeding mothers is indescribable. Imagine, holding your baby in your arms and breastfeeding, you and baby staring into each other’s eyes. A sense of peacefulness sets in and your baby feels the upmost love, dedication and security.
The biggest issues mothers have with breastfeeding here at Seton Harker Heights I believe is support, whether that is from their significant other, family and friends. Along with support, education is a huge factor when it comes to choosing how our moms decide to feed their baby. We help with these issues by providing childbirth classes and breastfeeding assistance while in the hospital. While mom and baby are still in the hospital we give a lot of education to them along with the significant other and family.
Showing the support system of the mother, how they can help with breastfeeding is extremely important. Yes, the mother is the only person that can actually breastfeed but the support system can help in other ways which can be even more important. The support team can make mom comfortable in a chair or couch, bring her a large glass of water, snacks that she can eat with one hand, wash dishes and other household activities. Dad or other significant other can also help a lot by changing baby’s diaper before and after the feeding, holding baby after feeding and dressing baby. There are numerous ways everyone can help and support a breastfeeding mother, too many to count or list.
Breastfeeding in public
The advice I have for women who are breastfeeding or pumping in public is be confident. I know it’s easier said than done but breastfeeding is completely natural. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions. To those that chose to speak out to you directly while your breastfeeding at the store or mall, a simple reply of “This is what I can do for my baby that I feel is best”.
Some moms that are breastfeeding have to go back to work and that means introducing a pump in order to keep suppling milk for her baby. This can be difficult. The advice for those moms is to keep hydrated by drinking 10-12 glasses water a day, have your phone with you that has a video of your baby, if you can’t have videos at least photos of your baby. Research has proven that mothers can have a better milk let down when looking at videos or pictures of their baby. Sit in a comfortable chair, preferably in a private room with a lock to provide the most privacy as possible.
Challenges of breastfeeding
One of the things that I wish all moms knew about breastfeeding is that in the beginning it is difficult but the end the reward is so much more. Unfortunately, movies and TV have depicted breastfeeding as simple and easy. I can tell you that it can be like that, but for most the first 3-4 weeks is much more challenging. Breastfeeding needs patience, love and support. Remember your baby was just born and needing to learn this new way of life. With time, love, patience and practice your baby will learn and breastfeeding will become that easy and simple way. I don’t say this to discourage anyone from breastfeeding but I say this because the standard needs to be realistic. One of the greatest rewards is breastfeeding.
Call The Women’s Center at 254-680-6339 for more information. You can also talk to a lactation consultant or leave a message for any of your questions.