Breastfeeding and The Big Lie!

I know, I know! Clickbait.

Firstly, want you to understand that I'm not a lactation consultant or specialist or counselor. I'm a doula who nursed my three babies for many many months and has had the amazing opportunity to help other women in their breastfeeding journey. 

The other thing I want you to understand is that in my personal parenting journey, I'm a planner, an organizer and a scheduler. My children start their sleep training journey at birth. Following this advice and sleeping can 100% be done!

There's one thing that I see time and time again that has to stop! I call it the breastfeeding lie and I've been a participant of this lie myself and it's the worst. 

Here it is: 

If your baby just nursed, there's no possible way they can be hungry 15 minutes later. If your baby has just nursed and they are crying, nursing shouldn't be the first thing you try. 


False and false and false!

Here's the truth. 

Breastfeeding isn't bottlefeeding! We need to stop treating them like they are the same. The expectation that a baby that is breastfeeding, especially within the first 6 months of life when no other food is introduced, will eat once and then be satiated and happy for the next 3-4 hours, is ludicrous. Sure that may be the case sometimes but the majority of the time, there's more going on! 

Here's the deal, if you have recently fed your baby, burped them, changed their diaper and they've taken an adequate nap and they are still upset, NURSE THAT BABY! The only thing that will possibly happen is that your milk supply will be more robust and your baby will be happier! No harm, no foul! 

Don't get me wrong. I have said so many times in my combined 44 months of nursing human beings "THEY JUST ATE! They can't possibly be hungry!" and that may be true but it also may not be true and your baby may be telling you something, especially your newborn (within 3 months after birth). They may need more calories in your milk (which can only happen by continued nursing), they may be getting sick or getting teeth, they may just need you!

Our culture is not conducive with a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Women are told when they leave the hospital that "10 min of nursing is plenty" when in reality, that may be plenty twice a day but the other 10 times they may need to nurse longer. You may be the kind of person who needs to nurse on both breasts instead of just one each time and that OK and perfectly normal! 

There are a million reasons why your baby may need to nurse 15-30 min after they already nursed and the great thing is, you don't have to worry about any of them! All you need to worry about is listening to your babies cues. Is your baby having enough poopy diapers? Are you drinking enough water and eating healthy foods for your body? 

Don't stress about this! In fact, I hope that this helps you not stress. Nursing on demand is the number one way to form a healthy breastfeeding relationship and to grow a healthy child. Also, pro tip, nursing on demand during the day and following safe sleep guidelines at night is the best way to help your baby sleep longer stretches during the night so you can get some much needed rest too! 

If you have the opportunity to stay home after your baby is born, skin to skin and baby to breast time should be the only thing thats on your mind. If your baby makes a sound that even resembles being hungry, feed that baby! If you're a working mama and want to foster a breastfeeding relationship, spend extra skin to skin time when you get home and nurse on demand while your with your baby, you can do this!

If breastfeeding is one of your postpartum goals, take a breath, you can do this! Yes, it's hard, Yes it takes some getting used to, Yes, you're going to be tired and YES, it is so worth it!