We all know that our society lacks the proverbial village that used to help in the pursuit of raising children. at this point, we do what we can to get the support we need but many of us fall flat. We feel overwhelmed, lonely and tired. Many of us experience mood disorders which further disrupt our lives and the ability to be our best selves.
One relatively accessible support system that we can create for ourselves is working with an IBCLC during our postpartum. Doing so gives you a knowledgeable shoulder to lean on. As an IBCLC I have been privileged enough to be there for mothers and their families during such trying and formative times.
A major issue with the lack of support for breastfeeding moms is not knowing if you’re doing it right. Many hospitals are ill-equipped to support moms in breastfeeding beyond those first few days while you’re physically in the hospital. Many do what they can and then send you on your way with a pamphlet and a chart to track your baby’s output and input. This is all great but as you all know the postpartum brain fog is thick. We are not in a place to absorb such critical information shortly after pushing a human out of our bodies, or in the other instance having experienced serious abdominal surgery. I believe we need someone to help us then as well as going forward: someone to hold our hands and show us exactly what to do.
Having Someone to Help You Feel Sane and Normal
Working with a private practice IBCLC who does home visits is the peak level of support and is something all mothers should have access to. Anyone with a newborn needs support and love but it is especially important when learning to breastfeed. Unfortunately, many of us live our entire lives and never once see someone we know closely nurse a baby at their breast. The mix of pressure from others and lack of sleep during the postpartum months is enough to make us question ourselves. Having someone there to help assure you that you are enough and to show you how to smooth the bumps in the road is so important to our ability to meet our breastfeeding goals.
Breastfeeding can cause issues from otherwise well-meaning family members and the not so well-meaning public. Having the support of an IBCLC helps those first few feeds in public or at Easter dinner go all the more smoothly. When you’ve been supported by someone who is knowledgeable and kind you learn in the most empowering of ways. Having support for your partner is invaluable: Moms aren’t the only ones experiencing a major shift in our identities after baby arrives. Our partners long to be helpful and supportive and I help make that happen. I can bridge the gap between a dad who feels left out because the baby seems attached to you and not him. I can help you all feel like a team working towards one goal.
Being a mother is difficult, having this support helps everything flow more smoothly. We all want those first few months to be a time of bonding and growing. We all want and deserve support from someone, many “someones” in most cases.
Having an IBCLC on your team for postpartum support is such a valuable addition. Help make your postpartum a time when you and your family are surrounded by love and support.
Reach out with any questions you might have and let me know if you want to have me on your support team.