I planned my home birth meticulously, right down to what snacks I would have on offer for our visiting midwives. An area that I did neglect when putting together my birth plan, however, was breastfeeding. Call me naive or maybe overly optimistic, but with my rose tinted glasses on I half expected our first breastfeed to be like a scene out of Snow White.
When my baby boy arrived in August 2015 at 38 weeks I was presented with the opposite, my beautiful baby just didn’t know what to do and I had very little knowledge to help guide him. The Midwives did their best to help me but nobody could get my baby to latch, and due to some minor concerns surrounding his blood sugars his first ever feed was not from me! Our breastfeeding journey definitely had a rough start but I am pleased to say we went onto breastfeed for over 2 years!
If I were to plan my home birth again, I would definitely dedicate an area on my birth plan to breastfeeding. I would also attend the one off breastfeeding session held at our local hospital (I attended this over a year later as a volunteer and found it so informative!). Another thing I would do is gather information on who can help if required. Looking at our local breastfeeding support there are 3 main types; NHS, Voluntary and Private.
Who can help?
- NHS – Midwives, Health Visitors (HVs), Infant Feeding Coordinators (referral via Midwives, HVs, other Breastfeeding Support)
- Voluntary – La Leche League, Goodwin Trust (local to Hull)
- Private – IBCLCs – International Board Certified Lactation Consultants
Other helpful contacts:
- National Breastfeeding Helpline – Offering independent, confidential, mother-centred, non-judgmental breastfeeding support and information
- Breastfeeding Network – Who offer a unique drugs in breast milk line for mums and health professionals as well as support
- KellyMom – Evidence based information on breastfeeding and parenting
- iBreastfeed – An Hull campaign to give parents in Hull the information and confidence to choose to breastfeed
- Peer Support Social Media Groups such as – Human Milk Buddies (Hull & East Yorkshire)
One of the benefits of having a home birth is that you get to stay in the comfort of your own home, a slight negative of this though is not being able to press a buzzer when you need some help. Knowing the basics of how to latch your baby is valuable, as is knowing the signs that breastfeeding is going well.
Knowing the basics
This guide by KellyMom is really helpful for new parents. It covers the first few weeks of your baby’s life, including; what to expect, what is normal and what is not, and expected nappy output (as a general guide).
When you have a newborn, often everyone around you can suddenly become an ‘expert’. Breastfeeding in the early days can be tough, emotional and very very tiring. It does get easier, and it does get better. If family and friends want to help, there are many ways that they can do this without feeding your baby.
Goodwin support at home
Lastly, did you know that home birthing mums in Hull (HU1 – HU9) are able to access Goodwin Breastfeeding Support home visits? For further details please contact: Caroline Wiggins, Breastfeeding Peer Support Coordinator at Fenchurch Street Children’s Centre on (01482) 497800. Or email Caroline: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated 30 September 2019