Early days are easy with breastfeeding, for a Nan anyway.
A Nan’s early tasks are delightful, cuddling, sitting watching and giving Mum and Dad some well earned sleep time.
Pressure free breastfeeding
Breastfeeding for Mum can be a stress. Exactly what a new Mum does not need. Any new Mum can,
- Worry if the flow is slow. It is normal. It happened to me and my daughter. Hearing ‘I just flooded’ or ‘it’s easy’ comments add nothing. They are mean and cruel spirited.
- Worry if there seems to be ‘not enough’. The baby will soon tell you. Any concerns are better shared with a midwife or health visitor first.
- Worry if the baby does not get a grip or as they say ‘ latch on’. Gentle encouragement helps but if a nipple is large for the baby’s mouth, inward rather than outward, then a little help can be needed. It is not unusual.
Turning to Nan for a chat about friends or relatives who may have had similar challenges or breastfeeding groups can help.
It is better to get three different viewpoints and then make up your own mind than to grab at the first suggestion.
Social media and breastfeed
People using social media can find there pressure to be perfect. To me that means take care which group you join. Always be ready to leave too.
People online may sound like your friends but they are not. At best they are people with a common interest.
If a person tells you your baby will be damaged if you are not breastfeeding the way they did it, walk away.
One young woman I know had a mastectomy. She did not want to tell everyone are boobs were not real. She bottle fed her baby. She had to deal with questions and back comments and disapproving glances. She was tempted to hide. This is wrong. While breastfeeding is the best it is not possible for everyone.
As Nan all I could do was to give warm positive noises of support to counter the almost bullying assertions of what I came to call the ‘breastfeeding mafia’. Women who turn the ‘breast is best’ message into a moral crusade and a tool with which to beat up the nearest struggler are wrong.
- Take a look at http so://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/breastfeeding-help-support/ where the NHS provides neutral information. No judgement. There are links that may help too.