This is the last in my Breastfeeding Sabotage Series, but I would argue that it is the very most important one.
Even if your overall health during pregnancy was stellar; if you had a 100% natural birth with no interventions that made breastfeeding difficult; if you had the very best IBCLC in your hospital room immediately postpartum; and you had a postpartum doula and in home lactation consulting; there is still one place where sabotage can unknowingly set in.
That place is inside your support system.
That doesn’t sound right, does it? Your support system should be giving you support, not sabotaging you.
This isn’t something they do knowingly. (Mostly)
It isn’t something they want to do.
Most of the time they have no idea they are doing it.
This is where you have to make decisions, serious parenting decisions.
Think about the people you have around you, every day, day in and day out. Not just physically in your home, but on the internet, the TV and at your favorite stores, parks and restaurants.
Are you hearing things like: “Just let me give the baby a bottle so you can rest. Maybe you’re not making enough milk. Excuse me, I need to ask you to do that somewhere else. We didn’t do it that way. When you were a baby we,……”
These things are not supportive. They may be meant with good intentions, but anything that is not supportive of the breastfeeding relationship can be hurtful. Postpartum people are very sensitive in general, and they are extra sensitive to the needs of others.
It’s all about the hormones and how it jacks up your system. Placenta encapsulation can help with that, but the point is that being a caregiver to a new little one often times overflows into taking care of others around you.
Do not be concerned that grandma doesn’t get to feed the baby or that the baby’s cries wake your partner. I mean, you can be concerned, but don’t let their complaints change what you need to be doing to maintain a good milk supply.
Until you say otherwise, the people around you should always give suggestions on how to make it easier for you to breastfeed successfully. If they aren’t doing these things, it may be a good time to step back from the negativity.
This doesn’t mean you have to cut people out of your life or anything drastic like that, but it does mean you need to choose wisely who will be invited into your space to comment on your breastfeeding relationship. The key to successful full term breastfeeding is fortitude; mental and emotional strength to choose who you keep in your circle. If you choose to keep people who knowingly or unknowingly sabotage you, then you need the mental and emotional ability to face that adversity head on and continue to do what you want to do.
Does your support system encourage you? Do they lift you up? Do they try to lead you down the easiest path or the path you want to go down? Do they make you feel guilty for making their lives more difficult or do they find ways to make a difficult situation better for you both?
The right support system can make or break your breastfeeding relationship. Choose wisely. Looking for a Colorado Springs/Denver IBCLC or a Colorado postpartum doula who supports breastfeeding? Call Colorado Mountain Doulas today.