Breastfeeding: special nourishment for the baby and the mother/child relationship.

Breastfeeding: today strongly advocated by…everyone!

Breastfeeding: an important, complex topic because it involves the all-round well-being of the mother (physical, emotional, psychological aspect) and the baby.

There are valuable referral and support figures for mothers who wish to breastfeed but encounter difficulties in doing so: health professionals specializing in breastfeeding who can also perform a whole range of technical checks (first and foremost IBCLC counselors and midwives).

But are difficulties in breastfeeding always “technical” in nature ?

From experience I can say – no, I am not.

And it is precisely in those cases that having a Doula beside you can make all the difference.

Doula: non-health figure, who does not visit, give prescriptions, and generally …does not “touch” mom, except to cuddle her 🙂 .

What then can a Doula do for a mother who is having difficulty during breastfeeding?

Doula can listen. Doula can watch. And from deep listening and careful observation the Doula can get useful elements to give back to the mother, elements that can help her understand what lies underneath that difficulty.

We always talk about how many emotions run through a woman immediately after childbirth (and I am not just referring to the baby blues) emotions that are often not taken into account, not given the proper space. If we add to these the clichés, conditioning and stresses of those around … it is easy to understand how easy it is for a new mother to “get lost.”

But do you know how many breastfeeding starts with difficulty? Many! There is nothing strange about it.

It is possible for the mother to have pain in attaching the baby, to be told that she has too little milk, too much milk, to have mastitis or engorgement….

All of this tells us that there are probably some strong emotions in that mother that have found no other way to manifest themselves than to

And it is likely that if that mother is given a chance to process and let go of those emotions, what is really hurting her, she will reenter her natural, animal state, proceeding in breastfeeding lightly and confidently or otherwise find the right path for her.

Personally, when I get a call asking if I deal with breastfeeding, I answer “it depends” and ask them to tell me in brief what difficulty the mother is experiencing – after which I explain that mine cannot be a technical intervention and that if the need is that I can give the reference of a midwife or IBCLC expert. But often those who contact me have already gone through those steps …they’ve already had all the relevant guidance, attachment verification, advice on how to position the baby etc…and they ask for more.

One example out of all – a mother contacting me ten days after giving birth. On the phone she began like this : ” I have a baby who is a few weeks old, I have a lot of milk but I can’t breastfeed him, he doesn’t grow. I’ve gone back to the hospital several times these days to get help, I’ve contacted several professionals…they explained “how I should do it” but no one listens to me and I’m desperate”

That “nobody listens to me” was eloquent. I answer, “okay – I can do something.”

The next day I’m at her house; I’m with her, she shows me right away what’s going on, breasts overflowing with milk and baby not latching on, breast pump at the ready…and tears in my pocket.

I spend a couple of hours with her…we talk…I’m in that there is, I start from what I had just seen happen between her and her husband who was leaving while I was going in…and from piece to piece we piece together the puzzle of what had brought her to that state of suffering…and from piece to piece within two days she starts to let go…and breastfeeding starts naturally – today it’s more than a year that she’s been happily breastfeeding her baby.

I myself would have so much needed a Doula at the beginning of breastfeeding: I had plenty of milk and a voracious baby who had latched on from the first moment without any problems. She was growing just fine … but I was bleeding … miraculous silver cups … but inside how many things were moving – after a few months I met with my doula, unraveled the skein and happily continued breastfeeding.

Today I know that those breast wounds spoke of something else.

Nipple shields, breast pumps, cups … really useful devices? seem to us to help us there and then to feel less evil; but that evil is speaking to us, and it is likely that if we listen to it by getting to the root of the matter we can really meet the authentic mother in us.

Dedicated article coming soon : The Keys to Metamedicine® in Lactation Problems

Written By Alexandra Francesca D'Alessandro

Also read.

Red Tent: the sacred space of women

What is the Red Tent The Red Tent is historically the sacred place of women, the place where all the passing moments such as the arrival of first menstruation, marriage, motherhood, menopause, illness, and death were celebrated. The red color of the Tent connects...

read more

Conscious childbirth = home birth?

I start from this question to bring you some thoughts with the "usual" goal of simply giving insights to everyone's personal reflections. There is much talk of "obstetrical violence," referring by this to all those practices and/or dynamics, typical of hospital...

read more

Suffering: what it is, how to get out of it

We talk about suffering, and we do so in order to really understand it, to understand what it is, what it is for, how we nurture it, and most importantly, how to get out of it, how to go through it, how to free ourselves from suffering. How many people take for...

read more