The Reason Heather Lindsey Got it Wrong
Maybe you've seen the latest viral post by author Heather Lindsey circulating across all your social media timelines.
Heather goes on to state:
So, I've been pumping a lot to prepare to leave Taylor for 3 days next week (insert 😩😩😭😭), anyway - I noticed a change in the color of my milk over a month period. When Taylor wasn't feeling well, it turned bright yellow! I did some research and found that my milk changes to fit Taylor's needs based on her backwash! 😱🙌🏼 So, more colostrum is produced to help her get over her cold! How amazing is God?!? Ladies, your milk is the best medicine that your baby needs! So, I know nursing is hard, pumping, the engorgement & everything else but it's so worth it!
Isn't breastfeeding absolutely amazing??? YES! While I agree with most of this quote, here's the thing: breastfeeding essentially in itself isn't hard. The concept isn't hard. You simply let baby eat when they're hungry and then your body calibrates based on the demand; or lack there of; and adjusts! Voila! Breastmilk created based on the quantity your baby needs. But this doesn't happen for most women. Why?
Breastfeeding is like lions learning to hunt
One analogy I like to use is to compare breastfeeding to lions hunting. Strange, I know. But hear me out. Let's take a lion raised in captivity in the zoo. All of his meals have been prepared for him. He hasn't learned to hone his skills and trust his body. You could not then take this lion and release him into the wild. He wouldn't survive even though hes' been born with the same ability as any lion born in the wild. A little extreme you may say but, at the core, it's the exact same concept.
Honor pregnancy AND postpartum
The sad reality is we don't honor or value pregnancy or the postpartum period as we should. Women simply do not have the support they need. Who taught women to birth babies and then breastfeed? Local woman. The Village. The support system. Her network. If your network does not possess these skills or can not support you, it becomes that much harder to accomplish it. As a postpartum nurse, I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a patient's room that I've been providing lactation support to, to only hear a well meaning family member discouragingly tell her "My baby never ate that often. You're starving your child. You don't have enough milk yet. You should supplement." I've never wanted to throw someone out of a room so fast! There goes her confidence, down and in the toilet.
Women also need more time at home for maternity leave. Just as most moms are getting the hang of breastfeeding we usher them back into the workforce. Unfortunately, this is where most moms began to see a drastic drop in their supply and can do nothing about it because again, they lack support at work as well. I'm glad I'm working for an employer such as The Miami Medical Center that supports breastfeeding with more than just tongue service. When remodeling the new hospital, they made sure to include beautiful lactation rooms so employees can pump in a comfortable environment and store their baby's milk in a refrigerator designed for only this purpose.
Essentially, breastfeeding isn't hard. We simply have too many booby traps and politics surrounding it that make it difficult for woman to accomplish.