Beyond childbirth Wendy mentions breastfeeding as well, and this is such an important topic for new mothers. It seems that most new mothers think that breastfeeding will just happen, it's natural, right?!? Oh many will read a book or two, or at least a chapter or three in one of their pregnancy and birth books (if they read anything at all) on the subject of Breastfeeding, but rarely will they go any farther to prepare them selves for the journey than that.
My number one advice to all new moms-to-be is: Join a breastfeeding support group BEFORE baby arrives!! Be it a local informal group of breastfeeding moms who get together every few weeks for support and companionship, or a proper LLL meeting group. Which ever you're more comfortable with. Meeting with and seeing and talking with breastfeeding mothers while you're pregnant can make a huge difference when your own boobie baby arrives. If you've already met a few moms and have built even a tiny bit of a rapport with them, it will make it easier to be able to call on them for help should you need it. Learn the language of breastfeeding. It is vital to know and understand the language of the boob when your hungry babe wants to talk!!! If you can't find a group to teach you the language, then read a book. If you can learn even a few simple phrases in this language, you'll at least have enough of a handle on it to know HOW to ask for help and where to go to get help if you need it!!
The same with child birth. If you don't even know the simplest of phrases, how can you expect to be able to navigate your way through the insanity that medicalized birth can be?
The Language of Birth
You’ve been planning your vacation for many many months. After a lot of consideration you choose a country in which a foreign language is spoken. You’ve invested time in thinking where you want to go, and you’ve spent even longer saving up your money.
The day arrives and you’ve arrived at your long awaited destination. You made sure you had your bag packed well in advance. You have your clothes, something to read, possibly even music to relax you. As you get around this foreign country, slowly but surely you realize you’re in deep trouble… You know nothing of the language. The people speak to you, but you understand absolutely nothing. They tell you they’re taking you to a hotel of their choice, but you are starving and just want to eat, besides, you don’t even want to go to that hotel! But you’re practically helpless, no tolk, much less a dictionary. You figure, ‘ah, I’ll let them take me where they say is good, besides, they are the locals’. In the end, the vacation you’ve planned, and toiled for, all that you’ve envisioned that would relax you, is lost in the frustration of not planning well enough for the language barrier. You get back home, and you say to yourself ‘well….at least I am healthy and alive’
How many women, go through their pregnancies and births, and experience this situation? They painstakingly look for the right name for their child, they do their utmost to get the perfect furniture and the perfect color to match in the nursery. They expend almost all their money and time into the superficial matters of bringing a child into their lives, not anticipating the lasting effects of one of the most important days in their lives that is fast approaching, for which they feel ‘very prepared’ and yet very frightened. Family and friends ask if she’s got her stuff packed and ready. She says yes, she’s got her blankets, robes, socks, a novel to read and not to forget her toiletries. ‘I’ve got it all covered’, she figures.
She never looks up Childbirth Education classes, nor breastfeeding support groups and doesn’t even buy any pregnancy books. She does however look at televised birth stories on tv and learns a lot from them. She learns to fear pain and childbirth that is.
Surely enough, 38/2 weeks rolls around. Her doctor is pressing for induction because her ‘baby is huge, and her hips are simply too petite, besides..your baby is already full term!’ The doctor says she’d be fortunate enough if she could even have the baby vaginally. She shows up at the hospital for her induction, nervous but very excited that the baby will finally be here. She’s not sure what an induction actually is, but she’s put her full trust in her doctor “So what can go wrong?”.
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