EARLY and GENTLY

❤️ When you have a crying baby (day or night)… Go to them. At the first squeak. You WON’T spoil them. They are NOT manipulating you. They are COMMUNICATING with you. Hold them. Keep them close. Carry them in a sling. Have a bath with them. Breastfeed them. Talk or sing to them. The 4th trimester is a REAL thing.

Further reading/watching: https://sarahockwell-smith.com/…/the-fourth-trimester…/

AND

Nils Bergman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYtFrgbDUo

🧡 When you feel hormonal and exhausted shortly after giving birth, reach out for help. Don’t wait. YOUR NEEDS MATTER. You are keeping your baby alive. It is a 24 hr job. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You need a break. In many cultures around the world the 40 days after giving birth are sacred. All relatives and friends come together to mother the mother. You deserve no less. Get all the help you can. Practical, emotional, paid or free. Breathe. Be gentle to yourself.

Nancy Mohrbacher – The first 40 days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pDRJ-29EGQ

AND

Amy Brown: https://www.facebook.com/breastfeedinguncovered/videos/492099834816233

AND

LLLGB https://www.laleche.org.uk/supporting-a-breastfeeding…/

💛 When you are pregnant and waiting for baby to arrive, and you have a million questions on your mind. Reach out. Don’t wait. Try to talk to different people, reach out to different groups and your your intensely strong, deeply rooted (possibly still budding parenting) instinct, FEEL your way into what works for you, what feels right, where you feel at home. Spend more time in these (virtual) spaces, distance from those that your body and mind responds to with a ‘blurgh’. Get your partner involved. The more he/she understands about birth and breastfeeding, the better team you will become once baby is here! https://www.positivebirthmovement.org/

AND

https://www.laleche.org.uk/birth-breastfeeding/

💚 When your toddler asks for the breast for the 150th time. When they spill their food, smear their paint, scream at you for no reason, refuse to brush their teeth, ask for the same book for the 27th time, ask you to PLAY PLAY PLAY, and you have nothing left to give. Move in early and gently. Just BE with them. Let them hear your exhaustion. Let them know you love them anyway. Be gentle to THEM and to YOURSELF. You ARE good enough.

Lots of support for parents of children of ALL ages:

https://www.handinhandparenting.org/

AND the amazing How To Talk series: https://www.goodreads.com/…/769016.How_to_Talk_So_Kids…

💙 When your partner loses it with you. When you lose it with them. It has been a tough few months. We have been tattered and torn around the edges. You carry so much! You both do. Claim your space early and gently. Give space early and gently. Seek help outside the home if things get too much. There are services for this.

Mindfulness: https://mindfulbreastfeeding.co.uk/book-resources/

💜 Your birth experience wasn’t what you imagined. Please don’t blame yourself! You can only do what you know is best and whatever is possible in the circumstances, with the information available to you at the time. Debrief to a birth doula or a counsellor. Read and talk. Cry. Release all the ‘stuck’ emotion. Feel the pain. As early as you feel ready and your professional will make sure it’s gentle.

https://www.aims.org.uk/…/after-birth-service-provision

❤️ If breastfeeding hurts, your baby isn’t gaining well. If a professional says ‘the latch looks fine’ but your gut is telling you something isn’t right… If your baby cries and you are crying too because you don’t know what is going on with breastfeeding, after hearing so many different things from so many different sources, and your eyes hurt from googling… I’m here to support you. I will listen to you carefully. I will take you seriously. I will observe a feed. I will consult my textbooks and colleagues if necessary. I will help you do the ‘detective’ work. Reach out. Early. Don’t wait till things escalate. There is a LOT of help out there for you. (Please see my slides on FREE support available for you in the UK. This can work well as a first guide to see if you need more focused one to one help, or it may solve your problems instantly.)

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