Dear Milk Mamas,
Hello again! I feel like I need to see more about why we need a breastfeeding community. After all, we are not gorillas (see yesterday's post): we can read all about breastfeeding in some of the wonderful manuals in books and websites available today. (Easy enough, we don't even have to leave home and aren't I encouraging this practice by putting a breastfeeding blog out there for mama's to keep reading on and on about breastfeeding?) Consider the following analogy: a manual for making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich; might go something like this:
After assembing the required ingredients onto your kitchen counter, grasp the peanut butter jar firmly with your non-dominant hand while wrapping all of the fingers on your dominant hand tightly around the lid, fingers spread wide. Elbows out to the side. Firmly twist the lid of the peanut butter jar counter-clockwise with a turning action of the wrist resulting in a mild rotation of the forearm...
Sounds pretty complicated, doesn't it, and the lid isn't even off the peanut-butter jar yet! Of course, that's not how we learned how to make a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. Most likely, we watched someone do it who had some experience and then we tried it on our own seeking help from an experienced person as needed. Now that sounds much more simple and easy! And this is why I encourage mama's to surround themselves with other experienced breastfeeding mothers - watch and learn, ladies! Trying to learn from a manual is just too hard!
So, am I saying that books and the internet are a total waste? Absolutely not! They are wonderful resources to be used as a supplement to mother's own natural instincts and her breastfeeding community. Books and internet can answer specific questions and can be there for support and encouragement when real human breastfeeding mothers are not (such as 3:00 a.m. and baby has awakened to nurse for the 4th time!).
More to come...