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Sheila: supporting all mothers in their chosen feeding style

Sheila Duffy, PPPSS’s Director, discusses the stress that many new mothers experience when breastfeeding is not what they expected.  She emphasizes that breastfeeding, although natural, is not always easy and that mothers need to be supported so they can make the decisions that are best for both baby and herself.

 Many women breastfeed successfully: However, If you are having any issues of difficulty and/or need support, please contact the Vancouver Breast Feeding Centre at 604-738-1912 breastfeedingclinic.com or your local public health nurse or La Leche League for resources and support.


So one of the other things that we hear quite often from mums is, is the stress that they are going through because of breast-feeding not working out or, or it’s working out but they’re doing it all the time. And so we don’t often talk about the fact that it can be really stressful, it can be really exhausting and, and sometimes we’re talking to people who are not only nursing every hour or two hours but they’re nursing for an hour. And then they’re pumping to supplement and, and they’re doing that, you know, throughout the night.

So it’s, it’s something I think that’s, yeah it comes up quite often where mums, if they’ve had to stop breast-feeding for whatever reason, maybe medical reason, maybe it’s just not working out or they have to make a decision because in order to look after themselves they need to, to supplement or something like that there can often be a lot of grief as well. And also a lot of guilt because, you know, we are always hearing that phrase ‘breast is best’. So if for whatever reason you’re not able to breastfeed, then you feel like you’re not doing the best for your baby. So, you know, I think it’s something that we really do need to talk about is that, you know, if it doesn’t work out that’s ok too. Sometimes, sometimes it doesn’t, and we need to really make sure that mothers are being supported in whatever they need to do.

And then just really talking about the fact that, you know,  I know for me I thought, you know, breast-feeding is natural, therefore easy and I had no idea that: yes it’s natural, but it can take a really long time before it becomes easy and, and we need a lot of support while we go through that.