Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Breastfeeding Support - Does it Matter?

I find, probably like most creatives, that sometimes our best thoughts and ideas and moments of insanity come to us at silly o clock on a night, when we have just climbed into bed, and about to drop off to sleep and PING - and this is exactly where this blog comes from.

Over the last 6 months I have been trying to find a course to further myself, better myself, provide help and advice to the new parents that come into my studio - and I have constantly hit a brick wall.

I have been looking at doing some type of breastfeeding support training. Not even on an official level of "breastfeeding support worker" or "breastfeeding counsellor" but some additional way that I can help and support the breastfeeding mums that come into my studio.

As most mums will tell you (and often tell me) breastfeeding is hard work - and figures show that a lot of mums don't manage 6 weeks, let alone 6 months. And I have had many mums into the studio who within the first 10-14 days are almost tearing their hair out, or so tired and despondent with it that they think that maybe a bottle would just be easier. And whilst hearing stories of their baby feeding every hour, and is on the boob for 30 minutes at a time, I can understand why these mums are so utterly exhausted and on the brink of giving up - but the people sometimes who are there to support them either aren't widely known or they get conflicting advice from one midwife to a health visitor, to telephone support or even friends and family.

But what I want to do, and why I have been looking into courses is because I want to be able to have a bit more knowledge - and I want to be able to give the encouragement to mums, even during a feed at a Newborn Session that if they're feeling unhappy about it - I'm a no pressure, "non-professional" person who is there to listen and advise where I can - with proper advice, not just things I've picked up, or say "Have you phoned this number" and make them feel like I'm not listening.

I'm all for empowering women - you can be who you want to be - and do what you want - so that's why I found it so utterly crazy when I was searching for courses that most courses are designed for breastfeeding mothers who have a minimum of 6 months personal experience. I understand wholeheartedly why personal experience is great - but as a woman sometimes we're discriminated against because we have breasts, and now I felt I was being discriminated against because I wasn't using them in the right way!

I suppose the entire point of this entry, is to ask, does it matter?

If you come in for a newborn shoot and are struggling breastfeeding - would you ask for advice - as a friendly chat, rather than me telling you that "breast is best" and "you are doing a dis-service to your baby" and maybe offer you advice on feeding positions etc in the hope to help point you in the right direction to something that works for you. Does it matter that I'm not a mum myself? I know it doesn't matter to most of my clients that I'm not a mum when I'm photographing their kids. 

I want to empower people to make the right choice - and I'm not going to be able to 100% do that without the training to be able to support even the things that I don't know.

What do you think?
Think I should go for it?

Does it matter?

I've said all along as long as baby and mummy are happy then I don't mind how baby is fed - I just want the additional knowledge to help - if needed.

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