|Infant Feeding in Emergencies: A Guide for Mothers (WHO, 1997, 48 p.)|
The third principle of breastfeeding: Confidence
Older people may remember poor, hard-working women who breastfed all their children easily. These women unconsciously knew the basic principles of breastfeeding and assumed they would have breast-milk. In common with many modern women you may lack confidence in your ability to breastfeed. Perhaps your mother suffered the problems brought about by the mistaken medical practices. Perhaps you do not know anyone who has breastfed exclusively and you find it hard to believe that you can.
This booklet may give you some helpful facts, but your heart might still doubt. You can help yourself and your baby by asking your partner or a relative, a friend or any sympathetic person to support you, especially through the early days until breastfeeding is well-established. Ask them to read this book or at least the parts you find most helpful. Your helper can be like a trainer who helps a sports person. But unlike a trainer they must never be strict and always be gentle. In the past female relatives helped new mothers to breastfeed. In difficult situations we need to help each other whoever we are.
Breastfeeding mothers can support each other. If you are helping another mother remember that encouragement and kindness are as important as good information. Your confidence in her ability to breastfeed is vital. Never judge her, listen sympathetically and do not overwhelm her with advice.
A little relevant information is far more effective than a long lecture.
All the above information also applies to multiple births. Twins give double the stimulation; as long as they are well-attached you can produce enough milk. Mothers have breastfed triplets and even quadruplets. Mothers of multiples need lots of practical help to cope with the extra work.