So you’re thinking about breastfeeding and then someone comes along telling you horror stories, giving bad advice or just making crude comments. What do you do? Ignore them at all costs!
Things I may or may not have experienced myself (In no particular order):
1. Bombard the father-to-be as soon as you find out about the pregnancy with emails about how your child likes to suckle from your breast and how great it is, making sure to include the word breast as many times as you can in your email. Then proclaim how his wife HAS to breastfeed. Guess what? In one ear and out the other, or better yet, straight to the junk mail. Most men will let their significant other decide for themselves when it comes to this.. and he certainly does NOT want to hear explicit details about how great it is from his own relative when he hasn’t even had time to register that his life is about to completely change. Creepy!
2. If you are a nurse, immediately after the baby is born and mom is still traumatized.. ask to help the mother and then squeeeeeze the nipple as hard as you can while telling her “this is how you do it” then proceed to jam babies head into the breast as fast as you can. All the while her friends and family are in the same room and you’re making it their most memorable experience about the birth.
3. Tell the mother that it will be extremely painful at times, you might get chapped nipples or mastitis “like I did!” and have to go to the doctor. You and your baby could even get thrush! But.. it’s the best experience ever. No one likes fearmongering. How about sticking to the good reasons to start with?
4. Tell your significant other “You WILL breastfeed” For a hormonal pregnant woman sometimes threats alone are enough to make you not do something.
5. If you are a nurse and you work with other nurses at the hospital make sure you all give conflicting information. “Oh, baby should have formula if you haven’t produced milk yet”. “It won’t hurt a thing”. “Don’t give baby any formula it will decrease your supply”. Can these people get on the same page for the sake of the mothers frazzled nerves? geez.
To sum it up. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, try to encourage someone. If you don’t know what the word encourage means (which I think a lot of people don’t) then you need to look it up. You don’t encourage someone with horror stories, weird emails, through someone else instead of talking to them directly. Just offer to give help if they need it and ASK before you give too much advice. Too much advice can be just as damaging as not enough.