Congratulations! Whether you have already begun your motherhood journey or are considering a future journey; it’s a blessing. While many are on their motherhood journey they consider breastfeeding. Some outweigh the benefits, time management and more in order to make their best decision for their baby. I was one mother who immediately decided to breastfeed. I knew going in that it would be best for me and my baby girl. However, I wasn’t fully prepared for the time commitment and how to incorporate it into my work schedule following maternity leave.
Despite my personal obstacles, it was still best for my family and we breastfed for as long as we could. I feel that I was blessed to give my daughter a strong start as well. According to Dr. Ruth Petersen of the CDC, “Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition, with breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby. We must do more to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed.”
If you are considering the joys of breastfeeding, there are some things to consider. Some of the benefits include a reduced risk of the following for your infant:
Type 1 Diabetes
Severe Lower Respiratory Disease
For Preterm Infants: Necrotizing Enterocolitis
In addition to infant benefits there are also benefits for mothers. Moms can help to reduce their risk of:
High Blood Pressure
Type 2 Diabetes
While there are several benefits and potential reduced risks, it is best to consider what is better for your family. “If you read 1,000 books on how to care for your child, you will read 1,000 different views. Do what is safely and effectively best for your child and you. That is the correct way to care for your child,” says RN, Jhordynn Giselle. “There is no wrong way to breastfeed. As long as you are safely and effectively getting it done, great job, Mama!,” encourages Jhordynn. Here are some quick and cozy positions to consider if you’re in search of ways to breastfeed:
Laid Back Breastfeeding or Reclined Position
Cross Cradle Hold
Side Lying Position
Upright Breastfeeding or Koala Hold
“Listen to your body. You have been in it your whole life. If you don’t feel something is right, speak up,” advises Jhordynn. Many will tell you of positions, routines and more but if it doesn’t feel right for you, act accordingly. Unfortunately in breastfeeding there are also racial disparities related to breastfeeding as well. As compared to White infants, Black infants are 15% less likely to have ever been breastfed. I believe that there are many barriers to this statistic. This low rate can be due to a lack of breastfeeding awareness across socio-economic ranges, lack of resources and also a lack of support. In my situation, my employer did not have a breastfeeding room, allot breastfeeding breaks or etc to allow nursing mothers to care for their infants while maintaining their employment. I remember having to pump in a chair in the women’s bathroom. Smelling all types of “fragrances” while trying to hurry up and pump to get out of there! It was gross. I remember having to attempt to schedule home visits for clients around my nursing schedule. It was very challenging in my line of social work.
Despite the potential challenges breastfeeding is rewarding in its natural element. There’s no greater value than nursing your infant and building a deeper relationship. Secure your support system, routine and positioning that works for your family. Enjoy this time in your motherhood journey.
Writer, C. Scott, is a mompreneur, author, literacy coach and advocate. Visit her on Instagram as @curls_coils and also @beautifulshadeslc.
(Photo Courtesy of Mothering)