Breastfeeding Aint for Sissies

By Liz Pevytoe, RN, IBCLC Published 11/2009

You start your marathon with 16 hours of hard labor or perhaps you start with major abdominal surgery (aka a cesarean section). For the next few days you learn how to latch, position, burp, diaper, swaddle, trouble shoot and about a million other new newborn related tasks.

Then, for the next few weeks you will average around 4-6 hours sleep in a 24 hour period. But this sleep is obtained in 1-2 hour increments. You eat when you have time, shower when the feedings allow, somehow gather the energy to do a load of laundry or cook a meal on occasion.

And somehow you survive. But the question is: how can breastfeeding survive under these conditions?After years of assisting moms with breastfeeding, I have discovered that there are 2 basic personality traits that help you succeed in breastfeeding. First let me say the measure of success in breastfeeding is the ability to provide your baby with breast milk for one year.

Now back to the personality traits. I define these as The Passionate and The Persistent.

The Passionate mother believes in breastfeeding so much that this passion keeps her going no matter the obstacle. She is determined to give her child the best, even through pain and tears. She is quite but resolute.

The Persistent or Stubborn mom has decided to breastfeed for whatever reason and that is the end of it. She is more verbal, she demands no bottles to be given in the hospital, she instantly rebuts any criticism and BY Golly she is going to ‘get er done.

Babies who have physical or medical challenges do not discourage these moms. Low milk supply and Mastitis do not stop the breastfeeding. Thrush- vasospasms – nursing strikes: “been there, done that” they say. Even moms who adopt their babies are producing breast milk for their children. These moms are committed. Some may suckle the babies; some may pump but breast milk it will be.

Why do these babies receive breast milk for a year? Because they are passionate, persistent or maybe both. But one thing is for sure. They simply do not quit: They are NOT sissies. And no, they do not have the perfect breastfeeding baby. That baby does not exist. At least I have never seen her. There is one simple truth, challenges will happen and you must be totally committed to making breastfeeding work. TOTAL COMMITMENT.

Is support important? Absolutely, if I did not believe that – then what would be the need for my services? But not as important as your being passionate or persistent. That is up to you.

I believe you are up for the challenge. And I believe you aint no sissy.

Use of this article may be obtained by contacting the author Liz Pevytoe through the contact me page.

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