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Savouring the Babymoon
It’s an unique term, one that sums up a very realistic analogy created by Cowichan Midwifery Group’s Selina Boily.
“When you get married, you and your partner go on a honeymoon. When you have a baby, there’s the babymoon,” Boily explains of the spiel she gives clients often before the baby’s born to prepare them for that first week home and breastfeeding. “You would not invite your entire family to your honeymoon, so why would you to your babymoon?”
Case in point, most moms often don’t feel comfortable bearing down to breastfeed when their grandfather’s around, Boily said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
Boily’s been practising midwifery since 2000 and she can write the book on preparing women for breastfeeding.
“There’s a book in me,” she said between tips and advice for moms.
Boily has been sharing snippets on breastfeeding quite often with clients and folks at the Matraea Centre as August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month. But foremost is honouring the Babymoon, the time between the baby’s birth and when he or she is back to its original birth weight (most newborns drop in weight after they’re born).
“Most women often assume it’s natural. You have breasts, you have milk and it’s very easy, but natural doesn’t always equate easiness.”
And that’s why it’s so important to be prepared, Boily indicated.
“Another one of my analogies is breastfeeding is like learning to dance,” she said. “Your skills are in ballet. Your baby’s are in I’d say country line-dancing and you’re both learning to tango.
“When it comes together it can be the most intimate, beautiful dance, but in between then, there’s going to be frustration and you’re going to be stepping all over each other’s feet.”
Common challenges that can arise for mommas and babes are a lack of milk supply, flat nipples, latching glitches, a tongue-tied infant, and afflictions like thrush and mastitis.
Being aware of said obstacles will, hands down, help mothers get through it, said Boily, noting skin on skin contact right after the delivery as well as having the baby latch right away, also works wonders.
That and most importantly, making the family home a cocoon where it’s comfortable and quiet that first week home.
If outside help with breastfeeding is needed, however, it should be sought right away.
“There are quite a variety of services available locally,” Boily said, noting public health breastfeeding clinics, Matraea’s breastfeeding sessions, great books like Bestfeeding: How to Breastfeed Your Baby, and researching advice from folks like Canada’s breastfeeding guru Jack Newman.
“And find a friend, someone who you can trust and who has similar challenges as you,” she said.
Also honour your partner’s support as they can help with getting the baby to latch, fluffing pillows, or, as the joke indicates, mom’s in charge of the input and dad the output.
“Most importantly, moms need to take care of themselves as well. Nutrition and sleep are key,” she said advising moms to have at least seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour window (likely not in a row, but in total, nonetheless) and to snack away on high protein foods like avocados and nuts.
“It takes more calories to breastfeed than it did to make the baby,” Boily explained.
What it all comes down to really is surrendering to this new schedule.
“You surrender to your momma time.”