Talking this morning to two of the new mums that attended our morning tea, which was held in one of our trainee counsellors homes, it's so clear how new first time mums especially need that chance to sit with someone with similar parenting styles and values and feel validated.
New mums get so bombarded with advice about feeding, sleeping, routines, soothing, holding, carrying and everything else in between. I've noticed particularly in the new mums who have made the decision and commitment to breastfeed are often getting feeding a settling advice, that is often contradictory to the mothers desires and natural instincts. The sad thing however is that comments made to a breastfeeding mother about what she is doing and how she is doing it can often have the mother doubt her natural instincts and undermine the breastfeeding relationship she is so desperately trying to establish.
Telling a mother she should not feed her baby to sleep.
If you hold baby all the time you will spoil them and build a rod for your back.
Asking new mothers with babes that are weeks old about sleep routines and patterns.
And so many other statements put pressure on mothers to have their baby conform to these apposed ideals to the mother, which often sees so many babes these days put on the bottle before 6 months.
All mothers want to feel supported don't they, regardless of their choices? As mothers most of us parent by gut and what we feel is the best for our baby. If something in the pit of the stomach doesn't feel right, we don't do it.........that's that natural instinct telling THAT mother how to do it. So when it comes to that breastfeeding mum, please be kind to her, she's just listening to her baby, her heart, her gut......she's listening to a natural instinct. She may say her by wakes often to feed and doesn't sleep through, and wants to be held ALOT. It's what some breastfeed babies do, rather than offer comment or criticism please just offer a hand or word of encouragement. That breastfeeding mum will soon find a natural rhythm and pattern with her baby, give her time to do that, support that, offer to cook a meal, run some errands for her. Support her, trust her, trust she knows what her instinct is telling her to do and she will get there. That breastfeeding mum, doesn't want you to solve her problems she just wants encouragement in her journey to breastfeed, if you don't understand her choice to do so that's fine, just trust her.