It's quite common for women to be focused on their labour and birth, and think that breastfeeding will just happen. The number one oversight for many women, in my experience, is not to plan for breastfeeding. For some women, breastfeeding will just happen. But for many, not planning for the three golden hours may result in painful complications.
For example, my PhD research clearly associated common complications such as nipple trauma, engorgement, and mastitis with delay and interruption to the first breastfeed. In addition, my research showed that another reason why women experienced painful nipple trauma was due to commonly taught forceful techniques.
It may even surprise you to know, in my experience, the administration of opiates for pain relief results in sleepy babies who have difficulties breastfeeding, sometimes for up to three weeks. If a woman was to ask, how can I plan for breastfeeding, my suggestion would be plan ahead, avoid unnecessary interventions, including the administration of opiate drugs, also ensure that the first breastfeed is uninterrupted and not delayed, and your baby is not forced to your breast by anyone. If your focus is only on labour and birth, and you leave breastfeeding to chance, it's more likely that you will encounter breastfeeding complications.
There is no doubt that planning for your labour and birth is important. However, if you would like to breastfeed, it's equally important to understand that what happens during labour and birth greatly influences the three golden hours that are critical to your breastfeeding journey.
My hope is that you will share this woman-to-woman. Remember, it's your body, it's your baby.
The Thompson Method is a gentle, evidence-based approach to birth and breastfeeding, that helps women reduce the risk of complication during labour, at birth and with breastfeeding.
The Thompson Method Online Program will help you be fully prepared for your labour, birth AND breastfeeding. If you are already experiencing challenges with breastfeeding, this program will help you overcome pain and stress so that you can continue breastfeeding for as long as you choose.