The Breastfeeding Photo Many Mums Can Relate to
One of my most poignant memories from when I breastfed my firstborn was having a midwife tell me that breastfeeding was an acquired skill for both me and my baby. She encouraged me to persevere as it would give my baby the best nutrition, but if problems persisted and a lactation consultant wasn’t able to help, formula was always a good option to fall back on.
Not all midwives would share the same advice, but for me, this advice was what I needed to hear. Thankfully my daughter latched on well as did her subsequent sisters. I remember feeling elated when I found myself enjoying the breastfeeding experience with my babies. I could do it. Yay for me.
But my experience is not the same for every mum. When a mum finds herself in a position of not being able to breastfeed, she is racked with guilt because she can’t feed her baby the way nature ‘intended’.
Ashley Rockhill knew all too well the frustration of not being able to feed her baby son, Ace.
The American mum shared to the Daily Mail, “After two days of attempting to get him to latch on and multiple times of squeezing out what colostrum I could get for him, I was beyond exhausted and frustrated.”
When Ashley sought help from a lactation specialist, Ace was able to start feeding.
The very moment Ace started to feed correctly, Ashley had her birth photographer, Aleaze Jeavons there to capture it.
“This moment that is captured was the first time I had got him to latch on. I couldn’t believe it. I was so relieved,” said Ashley.
“About an hour before, I was in tears because I wanted to give up.
“It really is an amazing experience.”
Many women struggle to breastfeed their babies from the start due to a number of reasons.
Amanda Bude, a midwife from Groovy Babies told Essential Baby, it’s a common feeling for women to feel elated with their baby finally starts to feed because it isn’t easy at first.
Establishing breastfeeding is much more difficult than mums expect it to be. Complicated deliveries, past breastfeeding troubles and a lack of support are often the common reasons many women find it hard to breastfeed.
Sometimes the baby can’t latch on properly due to a tongue tie, while some mums don’t produce enough milk.
Amanda believes education is key to combatting breastfeeding issues. She encourages expectant couples to attend antenatal breastfeeding classes.
It’s also important for mum to be well supported and to seek advice from groups like the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Mums should also be well prepared by being fitted for the right maternity bra and having a nursing pillow to help with the correct nursing posture.
After giving birth, Amanda encourages new mums to breastfeed their baby within the first 60 minutes after the delivery.
“The first breastfeed is like the imprint or blueprint for a baby’s breastfeeding career,” she explains.
“If that ‘glue’ sticks correctly, then the baby tends to feed really well subsequently.”
If there are issues with that first breastfeed and subsequent feeds, it can take longer for the baby to ingrain and it’s important for mum to seek help.
However, she says if there are any issues with that first feed, then that ‘imprint’ can “take a little longer to ingrain”.
“Breastfeeding is like learning to dance,” says Amanda.
“Both mum and bub know the steps, but it takes time and persistence to learn the routine.”