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Is Breastfeeding Supposed to Suck?
The art of breastfeeding
Bottle, Breast, or a nice little combo of both– the choice is yours!
When we decided to dig in on all things breastfeeding, we knew it was important to acknowledge the challenges some face with the entire experience. As you work to figure things out you may be mixing, boiling, sterilizing, and can't possibly imagine a life where this journey will one day become as “easy” as you thought it might be. You are tired. You don’t want to do it wrong. We get it, the struggle is real.
The good news? You are not alone. It doesn’t have to be perfect so don’t feel bad if things aren't coming as naturally and as easily as you had hoped. Eventually, you will get to the point where the breastfeeding bonding begins, and you start to enjoy the wild ride and that precious time with your little one at the breast.
In this episode, we chat with Angela Grant Buechner, President of the Canadian Lactation Consultant Association. We discuss cluster feeding, what to look for if things don’t feel right, and how to let go of the guilt when it is time to end your breastfeeding journey.
Here are some highlights from our conversation...
There is a misconception that breastfeeding will come easily and naturally to everyone. What can families do if things just aren't working for them?
I probably say it every single day, but unless you grew up in a village of topless women, watching breastfeeding your whole life, how would you know how to breastfeed? It’s not natural anymore in our society. It’s a learned skill. So I think really, with what I do every day, is trying to make people not feel guilty for needing help but also not to feel bad if it’s messy on their journey so far. Sometimes people feel like they might be judged, like, “why did you need to use formula” or, “why did you not know how to latch the baby” or whatever it is. And it’s just so important to make them understand that this is a process, and it’s hard work if you give birth and three days in you’re having trouble. You’re really sleep-deprived; you don’t know what to do. So, I think a really important part of it is just to be not judgmental about it and to help them to know these little tricks that can make such a difference.
I love what you said earlier about, you know, we’re not in communities where you sit around watching and seeing women breastfeed. In some circles, it’s private and personal.
Yes, and it’s hard because now people really are often sent home at 24 hours, maybe 48 hours and a lot of things aren’t happening yet necessarily like, “oh the latch looks good,” but it’s a sleepy, 12-hour old baby who really isn’t doing a whole heck of a lot. And then night number to and night number three, they’re up all night trying to cluster feed to bring your milk in. and that’s when people realize, “oh this really hurts,” or “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do to fix this latch.” So it’s true that I’m often doing convos with people on day two, three, four because they’re home and that’s when the problems show up. And a lot of times actually, it’s funny, when we have friends who maybe breastfed but never had any issues and they kind of don’t know how to help you. But it’s because they were usually in the hospital for a week, so they had that support. So, they don’t usually understand what’s the big deal, why can’t you figure this out? But it’s because home alone, within a condo, with Google and trying to figure it out. It’s so different now.
Want to hear more?
For the entire extended interview with Angela check out 40 Weeks to Forever – Episode 02 - Is Breastfeeding Supposed to Suck?
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About our guestAngela is the President of the Canadian Lactation Consultant Association and is a Registered Nurse, Lactation Consultant, and NICU Doula. If you have any additional breastfeeding questions or are looking for support Angela has created a Virtual Academy that helps you navigate birth, babies, and breastfeeding. Use the code SNUGGLEBUGZ50 to get 50% off of these online courses.