You may be pregnant and have many questions about breastfeeding. Or maybe you have a colleague on maternity leave; and you wonder if breastfeeding will affect her return to work ... you too have an important role. How? Read here! A reflection on breastfeeding, its benefits; its importance to society, and our role to play..
I'm pregnant.. should I think about breastfeeding now?
My children are born in France. It was then when I truly felt the strongest cultural differences with Italy. My boss, while I was pregnant, asked me if I thought I would breastfeed. The question puzzled me a bit: why was it not obvious that I would at least try breastfeeding? Did he just want to know if I would have stayed home on parental leave longer than expected?
Many other people asked me the same question and I understood that it was without malevolence. In France, women claim their independence, acquired when baby's bottle was freed from its intrinsic concept of guilt, inadequate mother; and they were able to choose whether to breastfeed or not.
The switch to artificial milk makes it easier to distribute the tasks related to feeding the baby with the partner; to come back work earlier, and not to depend on baby's needs for a long time (I'm obviously simplifying a bit).
In Italy, I think we don't ask ourselves the question as much. If it's possible, then breastfeeding is considered normal. The choice is perhaps less free from cultural conditioning ...
But I found it absolutely natural to wanting to take care of my creature with breastfeeding. In addition, I have always heard that breast milk is healthier, transmits antibodies, contains all the nutrients the child needs.
Too bad no one warned me that .. it's not that simple!
Moms-to-be (but why not, partners and bosses ): five things to know about breastfeeding
It's painful. Only the first days, but know it. Better to arm yourself with patience - it's just for a short time. And with a nice protective cream for nipples (On the advice of my midwife, I used Medela's Purelan; I haven't tried any other, so I can't compare, but it certainly works well. )
Better to drink like camels before a trip to the desert. Like a lot of water, really liters and liters. It will seem obvious ... well ... it wasn't for me at the time, as I will tell you below.
The double electric breast pump will save you. It will make you feel like a dairy cow, but it'll become a valuable ally. Ask for advice, rent it in the pharmacy, prepare yourself psychologically, but don't ever neglect it!
Unless you want to lock yourself home, be ready to breastfeed in public. Find the most appropriate solutions for the situation, but don't worry about any eventual disapproving look.
If you are planning to go back to work and continue breastfeeding, get ready for fatigue and guilt, because you will suddenly live on two fronts .. well, in fact, this will long exceed breastfeeding!
- Ok I'll add a sixth one.. It is, truly, a wonderful bonding experience. I'm not regretting any single bit of it..
Come on, let's go into more detail. I'll start by telling you how it went for me, and why I find breastfeeding so important to us all.