"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in it's "Talk to Me!" theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."
Here's my bucket list of how you can be able to effectively communicate your breastfeeding intentions and goals to your support system.
I have found that having done my own research ahead of time helps me become more confident in letting people know that I intend to breastfeed without supplements. Other breastfeeding moms have also shared to me that being knowledgeable about the benefits, problem resolutions, issues surrounding breastfeeding have made them steadfast in their beliefs and allow them to properly address the concerns raised by people around them who are encouraging the use of breastmilk substitutes.
But it is important that you get information from the correct resources. I previously shared the top books in my breastfeeding library and would like to add one more to this list - Bestfeeding by Mary Renfrew. It is currently on my nightstand and I like the way it explains and encourages breastfeeding. Review coming soon. If you don't want to buy books, go for online resources such as Kellymom, Dr. Jack Newman, La Leche League International. Again, let me reiterate - better informed = better armed!
Interview your pediatrician. If she prescribes a breastmilk substitute, ask for a medical reason. But note that despite the amount of research you have done, if your pediatrician is not breastfeeding friendly, he/she will always find a reason to push breastmilk substitutes. Reminds me of that neonatologist in a leading hospital who kept pushing for the addition of spirulina in breastmilk but was really a researcher for that food supplement. No medical reason given for the addition of the supplement except that all the babies she previously gave it to had increased weight. Check out my previous post on how to find a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician.
Make sure that your husband is on the same page as you! Bring your husband to support groups and classes. There is nothing worse than hearing your own husband say - you don't have milk! You can also bring your mom or mother in law to classes. Whenever I attend LATCH classes or LLLI meetings, I am always happy to see grandmothers there. Sometimes, they ask questions but more often they don't. It will be especially helpful for you if you can have your husband or mom or MIL already prepare their issues and YOU can ask or bring up the questions instead of them.
An important ally to have is yaya. Show yaya that you are serious and don't keep a formula can for those just in case moments. In my case, I taught yaya how to properly handle and store breastmilk by asking her to watch me then having her do it while I was watching her. Print out this guide on how to bottlefeed the breastfed baby and explain to her that baby does not always want milk when baby cries. Sometimes, baby just wants comfort or to be changed. AND I emphasized to my yaya that you won't be spoiling baby if you carry her often!
Use Past Experience as Measures of Success
I was quite lucky that my sister-in-law breastfed her 2 boys. She was actually an exclusive pumper and lasted 4 months for her first and 6 months for her second son. Her experience and her exhortation that I breastfeed helped me respond to comments from my mother-in-law. If my mother-in-law had some comment or objection, I just kept quiet then messaged my sister-in-law. Then she'll be the one to call her mom to respond. Worked perfectly!
But sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. For instance, when I was having issues with looking for a pediatrician, we were with a pediatrician who was not breastfeeding friendly. When she made comments about supplementation, etc., I just smiled and said nothing. But since I had done all my research and knew that I was giving what was normal (and not only the best) to my baby, my confidence was not shaken and I continued on.
So how did you share your breastfeeding intentions/goals?
Check out the other carnival participants (to be updated throughout the day):
DaintyMom's Creating a Pro-Breastfeeding Culture in the Family (Facebook and Twitter: @Dainty_Mom)
Wifely Steps' On Breastfeeding: Say It, Claim It, Get Support! (Facebook and Twitter: @macaronigirl)
Truly Rich Mom's How To Get Others to Support You in Breastfeeding (Facebook and Twitter: @tinasrodriguez)
EthanMama's My Best Breastfeeding Support System - My Husband (Twitter: @ethanmama)
Raising Baby Lia's A Shoutout to my Breastfeeding Buddies
Jen CC Tan's I'm Breastfeeding, and That's That! (Facebook and Twitter: @next9baby)
Project Blog by Kate's Talk and Make it Happen (Facebook and Twitter: @kate_demetrio)
My Mommy Kwentos' How I Recruited my Top Breastfeeding Buddies (Facebook)
Apples & Dumplings Communicating and First Time Breastfeeders (Twitter: @apple_dumplings)
I'm a Newbie Wife's How I Taught My Family to Breastfeed
TouringKitty's Communication Through Breastfeeding (Twitter: @Touringkitty)
Mec as Mom's Pre-Natal Pediatric Consultations Are Necessary
Escie's World's Ready, Get Set, Go! for Breastfeeding (Twitter: @Escielicious)
Nanaystrip's BreasTALK : Text, Retweet, Share your Knowledge and Experiences (Twitter: @bunsonimaestro)
Superwomom's A-S-Ks (on breastfeeding questions, help, support) (Twitter: @dsedilla)
Go Help Yourself's “6 persuasion tips for breastfeeding moms and advocates”
Legally Mom's Breastfeeding Talk Between Me and My Formula Fed Daughter (Facebook and Twitter: @legallymomPH)
Handy Mommy's Couple's Communication and Decision: Key to Successful Breastfeeding
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom's Effective Communication Bucket List (Facebook and Twitter: @mamababylove)