I spend everyday supporting new moms and babies. Wiping tears, setting up breast pumps, and being a cheerleader for parents that haven't slept in days. And and you know what? There is a look that I see over and over, a deer in the headlights look that I recognize that says "nothing happened like we imagined it would, like it does in the movies"
Actually maybe that is a good thing. The point is we all have this idea of how our birth is going to be. We look beautiful, makeup done, hair blown out. We imagine our partner by our side cheering us on, our doctor will be there telling us what a great job we are doing. And then a big slap in the face reality. When I was in labor with my 12-year-old daughter, I felt like a beached whale because I was a full 70lbs heavier than I was when I got pregnant.
The doctor that delivered my baby was some random doctor I had never met because my doctor just so happened to be on vacation. Everyone thought I would be in labor for longer than I was. My ex-husband was across the street at the food court getting food, it was 10 o’clock at night, and before my mystery doctor showed up I was alone with a nurse pleading with me not to push because she could see my daughters head crowning. Let’s just say it was not the birth I imagined it would be.
The reason I am telling you my experience is because I took every class, read every book, picked the perfect doctor, got the best insurance, and my birth story STILL turned out this way. But at the end of the day, I have the 2 greatest, smartest, funniest, most talented kids on the planet.
And it’s because I took everyones advice with a grain of salt, and ultimately did what I wanted and that was Snuggled as much as I could with my baby’s. I couldn't be there all the time. I had to work, and I was able to breastfeed, but I held my kids every possible second I could and even now that they are 9 and 12, our bond is still incredibly strong and we have a connection that is hard to describe.
Do you know how hard it is for me to see a new mom and know she already feels like a failure within hours of giving birth? New mom guilt is real, and it takes a toll. New moms, I am here to tell you are not a failure if you don’t have lavender oil defusing in the delivery room, use disposable diapers, or have to supplement with formula if you’re not making enough breastmilk.
I help mom’s breastfeed everyday. I know how hard it is. I know how much pressure they put on you. If you can’t breastfeed, “Snuggle Feed” with breastmilk is just as good as far as I’m concerned. And Dad’s! You can even “Snuggle Feed” with baby too!
New mom’s, trust your gut, love your baby, and take care of YOU. When you deliver a baby your Left Brain stops working as well, so logic goes out the window and emotions take the wheel. When this happens, realize you will learn better visually and by demonstration. For example, if you need help with breastfeeding, don't by a breastfeeding book, schedule an appointment with a Lactation Consultant.
Research also shows that Male rats that stay in the nest with their young have lower levels of Testosterone and higher levels of Prolactin. What does that mean for you? Have your husband Snuggle Feed and do lots of Skin to Skin with the baby to build that family unit. Every female mama on the planet stops bathing after giving birth to tend to their young. You want support from your partner, not more pressure. Hormones are a MAJOR component to breastfeeding, birthing, parenting and bonding. If you focus on Snuggle Feeding, on the breast or in a bottle, it's a great place to start to get those hormones to fall into place and get that strong connection from the very beginning.
Keep up the great work my Milkalicious Mamas!