Years ago before my son was born (or as I like to say BC - Before Cooper) I stumbled across the ‘Diva Cup’ - a menstruation cup for those of you playing at home, don't worry this isn't a blog post about menstruation cups! - and was immediately repulsed followed by insanely curious. I went home and googled the darn thing - I had so many questions. The internet told me it was a game-changer, that it revolutionised dealing with ‘that time of the month’ but I didn’t act. Periods came and went until eventually I gave in and decided to give it a crack.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFFFFFFE!”
I hope you know that feeling I’m describing because it’s been the overwhelming response to my most recent read Born to Breastfeed by Rowena Gray
Finally, someone wrote a boobs manual and it doesn’t read like IKEA instructions.
Reading 'Born to Breastfeed' is like being given the reigns to take charge of your breastfeeding destiny. It is your trusty companion *literally* minute by minute, day by day and month to month.
First a bit about Rowena: registered nurse, midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with more than 15 years experience. Rowena is a mum to 3 babes and is passionately committed to providing evidence based support and guidance
In our digital age that’s an important phrase that can’t be understated, and I’d like to take this opportunity to remind those reading that ‘evidenced based support and guidance’ comes about from individuals who dedicate their careers and life to research, clinical trials and large scale studies. Evidenced based support and guidance comes from a real life person who’s ‘Why’ in life is to better support you and your babe and your breastfeeding journey. The only thing they gain is knowing that you both thrive.
And, yes, 'Born to Breastfeed' is chock block full of facts and research that will remind you just how incredible our bodies are, but it is so much more than that. I cried on the first bloody page.
“A familiar smell encourages him to continue his search by reaching, licking, lifting his head and falling into you again and again. Even though he has poor eyesight, the dark shade of your nipple guides him to it.
. . .
He knows where to go. He knows what to do. He is born to breastfeed.”
It was such a beautiful opening passage on our babes first quest to the breast, it reminded me of my son’s birth and why I initiated our first feed together. Our journey started strong and like the 96% of women who initiate breastfeeding I had goals. But I also had concerns, our first weeks included me:
- Asking every midwife to observe me feed to confirm I was doing it right. “Yep” and off they’d go.
- Freaking out when my milk came in, (according to my husband I looked like I was going to float away) then pumping like a mad woman. “Be careful” the visiting midwife says “your body will start thinking you have twins”. Whoops!
- Convincing myself I didn’t have enough milk for my son because he fed all the bloody time.
- Crying at 3am on hold to ABA because he wouldn’t stop feeding all the bloody time.
Now you don’t know what you don’t know. And knowledge is power. 'Born to Breastfeed' would have given me:
- The power to correctly and confidently correct my latch or at the very least identify that there was an issue with it.
- Relief from cluster-feeding shock and the knowledge that it was normal and that my breasts would adjust to my sons demands.
- A step by step guide to help me determine whether my concerns of low supply were backed up by any actual evidence.
Rowena’s dedication to address every conceivable concern and challenge is remarkable and she has provided comprehensive - evidence based - markers and indicators to help you troubleshoot. And as I mentioned earlier 'Born to Breastfeed' follows your journey from first days right through to 6 months and beyond. Rowena doesn’t bail on you once the basic mechanics of breastfeeding are covered. She stays with you through the introduction of solids and managing returning to work. This structure means that the information is never overwhelming.
But what makes 'Born to Breastfeed' so unique as a breastfeeding resource are the seamlessly inserted chapters, bookends if you will, at every step focused on Mum’s health and nutrition to best support her and fuel herself to meet her breastfeeding goals. These chapters are written by dietitian and nutritionist of 35 years experience, Anne Hillis. And what a god send they are, it is so easy to forget about you, your health and what you need in order for both of you to thrive.
As a mother who ceased breastfeeding before I was ready to, 'Born to Breastfeed' would have been my saviour when I lost confidence. My reminder of why I initiated breastfeeding and my power to make informed decisions to overcome challenges. A cheer squad on my bedside table.
If you are an expecting mum or have recently welcomed a babe into the world and intend to initiate breastfeeding I urge you to arm yourself with this powerful resource.
You can purchase Born to Breastfeed via www.borntobreastfeed.com.au