In August I made a quick post about the many ways our breastfeeding relationships tend to get sabotaged here in the US. Some are intentional, but most are not. You can read the introduction here.
Now I’d like to go into a little bit more detail on the first sabotage-SELF sabotage in the womb.
Many people want to know what is the best way to prepare themselves to breastfeed after a baby is born. I tell them, don’t wait until the baby is here, prepare yourself NOW! Nearly every decision you make about your pregnancy, labor and birth has some kind of effect on your body, your baby, and how well your first start with breastfeeding will go.
Nutrition affects every single thing in our bodies and in the babies that we grow in our bodies. A common misconception is that what a pregnant person eats and drinks in pregnancy doesn’t matter as the baby will just take exactly what it needs to grow, but this theory does not hold up anywhere else. The first thing we learn when planting a garden is that the soil must be right in order to grow healthy produce. A beautiful, organic bell pepper plant will yield little to no peppers if the soil it is grown in has no nutrients. It will grow small, weak peppers if given only SOME of the nutrients it needs.
We want our babies to grow big and strong and hearty, so let’s give them what they need to do this!
Begin by Eating well. Cut out chemicals and artificial food with un proven safety. Don’t worry about weight gain. Eat healthy foods you love in moderation. Eat 75-100 grams of protein a day for optimal brain development. -Believing that you can continue (or start) eating fake junk food while pregnant simple because you need more calories is self sabotage.
Take GOOD prenatal vitamins, not the OTC kind from the grocery store,. Get the kind you find at a health food store without fillers. Typical prenatal vitamins from the grocery store contain things like GMOs, artificial sweeteners and fillers based in corn and wheat. We are just now beginning to learn about the dangers of these chemicals and how they can affect a developing life.¹ -Unless you are 100% strictly organic in every single thing you put in your mouth and are eating MUCH more vegetables than anything else, you probably have a nutritional gap somewhere. We all do. Don’t sabotage yourself and your baby by denying the nutrients you both need.
Make sure to keep up on your exercise. Sleep as much as you possibly can, especially the closer you get to your due date. Exercise and good sleep help you to be strong and have the energy and endurance you will need to help your baby come into this world. -Beyond breastfeeding, a weak, unrested body is not good for anyone. Your strength is important for you, your growing baby, your other children and your relationships.
Newborns are SUPPOSE to lose weight after birth. In the womb they don’t have to DO anything to get nutrients. Everything comes directly to them with no work and they have to learn, with you, HOW to get those nutrients. They are born with reserves specifically because their mother will not have milk for them for several days up to one week. Their reserves keep them happy until that milk comes in and all they need is a tiny bit of colostrum.
Small, weak, early babies tend to have less reserves to keep them going in the first few days after birth while they get colostrum and wait for your milk to come in. Let’s do everything we can to give them, and ourselves the best start right from the beginning.
If you are not sure how do accomplish all of this; if healthy eating is new for you or if you’d just like a guide through the process, an early pregnancy class could be exactly what you need.
In my Natural Beginnings PEPP Talk, we discuss all of these issues and more, including how to choose the provider and birth location for you to give you the best birth and best breastfeeding start.
By taking care of your body, you are taking care of your baby and giving baby everything it needs to grow strong, and develop fully, increasing odds of an alert, strong, healthy baby ready to nurse soon after birth. The stronger you are, the stronger your baby will be. Avoid this self sabotage and get your breastfeeding relationship on the right foot by avoiding self sabotage during pregnancy.