I got a really special message yesterday. It was a photo of a client out on a date with her husband with a little note about how breastfeeding didn’t work out for her in the end, due to severe pain from vasospasm, but the support she had for the 6 weeks she nursed changed everything.
This is what I want for all moms.
Because I’m new around here, I’ll introduce myself. I’m an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Not the kind that barges in and smashes a baby onto your breast, but the kind that asks how you are doing and cares about the answer.
As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time reading up on the latest lactation studies, mom blogs, and bottle trends. But I spend just as much time reading about shame. Brené Brown’s work on shame has fundamentally changed my work for the better. Shame is when we feel bad about who we are, not what we do. So many people with feeding challenges feel like they are bad moms. Its the first thing you really try to do as a mom. And it is hard. REALLY HARD. Everyone asks about it all the time. Breast is Best is plastered everywhere you go for 9 months. But at the end of the day, breast isn’t best. Feeling like a good mom is best.
That’s why one of the secrets of my lactation work is date nights.
The Six Week Selfie
When my clients hit 6 weeks postpartum, whether they tried like crazy to breastfeed and triumphed, or knew pretty quickly it wasn’t going to meet their families’ needs: I ask my clients to go out.
Get an outfit. From a store or the back of your closet. Do your best to feel a little like your pre baby self while embracing the new mom-you.
Select some excellent company. The girlfriend who cheered you on, the partner that did bottles while you pumped.
Go do something wonderful. Get a drink. Get a pedicure. Get some delicious food. Leave your sweet baby with someone you trust and get out for an hour or two.
Then, send me a picture.
Okay, you don’t have to send me picture. But maybe take one to remember the time you went out to celebrate a parenting milestone: you working your butt off to feed your baby. Because no matter how you do it, it is really hard work.
Guest Writer —Victoria Facelli