My childbirth guidance classes are holistic. I try, in the limited time that I have, to reach my students on intellectual, emotional and physical levels so that they are empowered with knowledge, trust in themselves, and so that Partners are comfortable with supporting a Laboring Mother.
Birth is the very intense transition into Parenthood; one that creates a deep and everlasting impression for Mother and Partner. Though extremely important, it is but a small step in the journey that will unfold. I feel that sometimes we as Expecting Parents and Childbirth Educators focus so much on labor that we neglect to give time and education to the next step: postpartum. Kind of like planning a wedding and not preparing for the marriage, one can give birth in a wonderful setting to only find themselves at a loss once they head home with baby.
One of the "booby traps" of postpartum is breastfeeding. We are told many things that run the gamut from "its so easy you don't even need to think about it", to "it hurts and is not worth the effort." Nothing could be further from the truth in either case.
Breastfeeding IS natural. It is a learned behavior that was naturally bestowed upon us when girls witnessed breastfeeding at the foot of a nursing Mother or Aunt. Now, though it is normal and natural, it is a mystery to most women who have not had the opportunity to watch a baby latch and suck. We haven't a clue how to navigate these magical nourishing gifts beyond stuffing them into bras.
I am delighted that Cindi Freeman of Freeman Lactation Services will be joining me in my upcoming class to teach the breastfeeding portion of my series. Cindi is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and will guide students in the Art of Nursing. When you visit her site, the first thing you read is "Helping Natural become Second Nature". I can think of no better tagline.
I encourage my Doula Clients, and provide my Students, with a thorough breastfeeding class. The knowledge, coupled with attending La Leche League meetings and seeing nursing first hand helps make those amazing moments after the long awaited birth just as memorable and empowering as labor.