Did you know that 95% of women stepping into motherhood say they would like to breastfeed, however only 39% are exclusively breastfeeding at 16 weeks.
In our podcast interview with Dr Pamela Douglas, Founder and Medical Director of POSSUMS Neuroprotective Developmental Care, I asked her why we see such a significant decrease in rates of mother’s breastfeeding journeys. Her response:
‘The health system is letting women down..they don’t have the clinical skills to be able to deal with the distressing problems women encounter while breastfeeding’
Much of the problems Dr Douglas describes comes from nipple pain, which in her opinion is highly over medicalised at the moment. Typically stemming from continual breast tissue drag from incorrect fit and hold of the mother:baby dyad.
So what can we do? Educate yourself to Empower yourself!
Whether you’re a first time mother or this is baby number three, each mother and baby will have a unique fit, like two different puzzle pieces coming together for the first time. So it’s important to gain knowledge around tips and tools you can use along your feeding journey. This may begin with building a relationship with a lactation consultant, someone you know who will be available when bubs arrives and you can call on them for a quick look in or a more comprehensive consult if things aren’t going to plan.
They can help with antenatal expressing, teaching you about an optimal set-up for feeding, things to watch out for and educate you about modifications if things aren’t feeling right.
One of our wonderful FYC recommended IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) Joelleen Winduss Paye shared her Top 5 Tips for Breastfeeding Success:
- Learn from your Village: Talk to other mums about breastfeeding - listen to the challenges and the joys
- Research and touch base with a trusted IBCLC (see below)
- Read ‘The Discontented Little Baby Book’ by Dr Pam Douglas
- Learn to hand express your colostrum from 37 weeks (approval is needed from your care provider)
- Join Joelleen’s Preparing For Breastfeeding Workshop or check out her ‘Prepare to Breastfeed’ PDF Guide
If you would like to book an appointment with a trusted lactation consultant we highly recommend the following:
Joelleen Winduss Paye (Melbourne)
Dr Nicole Gale (Surrey Hills / Melbourne)
Jessica Kahan (Frankston / Peninsula)
Sarah Thijs (MAMA - Kensington and surrounding areas)
Lactation Network (Hobart)