Yesterday, we introduced former world squash champion Leilani Rorani, our new advocate for the National Breastfeeding Campaign, and presented Leilani’s first video log, in which she talks about her preparations for breastfeeding. Joining Leilani was Chris Kelly, Child Birth and Breastfeeding Educator of Mamalicious, a Wellington-based provider of breastfeeding education. Here Chris Kelly talks more about the importance of breastfeeding education services for mums and mums-to-be:
“I’m Chris Kelly, Child Birth Educator and mum to two boys, Lawrence and Eddie who are 6 and 3, both were breastfed. Just over a year ago, colleagues of mine and I realised there was little support out there for breastfeeding women, so we established our company called Mamalicious. We do breastfeeding education for women antenatally and postnatally.
Post natal and antenatal classes are a fantastic way to prepare for breastfeeding and empower mums with the knowledge to help overcome the challenges that can come with breastfeeding. Most classes cover a wide range of subjects such as: the science behind breastfeeding – the supply and demand system which is really important for women to understand because a lot of women will give up, saying they don’t have enough milk. If they don’t understand that supply and demand; that if baby’s not demanding the milk, you don’t produce the milk, and there can be that roll on effect that you end up feeling that you don’t have enough milk. So, by understanding this process it already gives women a headstart!
Understanding positioning and latching is a biggie, so classes will cover this – be prepared to take in a teddy or a doll in order to practice correct positioning! If you can get your positioning and latching right, you’re well underway to establishing good breastfeeding practices.
Classes will cover some of the challenges you can encounter while breastfeeding. It’s really important that women know about the potential challenges. A lot of women begin breastfeeding without knowing about common issues, and therefore can’t recognise the signs that maybe something isn’t quite right. Most of us at some stage during breastfeeding get sore nipples. In the early days it’s your nipples getting used to all that attention, but it can only take one bad latch for your nipples to become grazed – and that requires recovery time. Again, understanding positioning and latching and getting that right will help – as well as being able to recognise the signs when something has gone wrong, and what you can do about it at that point.
For women doing breastfeeding classes, it means they get the knowledge, the tools and the support to go into breastfeeding really confidently and hopefully avoid the challenges that can happen and establish great breastfeeding from the start.”
To find out about postnatal and antenatal breastfeeding classes and services in your area, there are a number of places you can find information: Talk to your midwives, ask friends and family, search on the internet, contact your local hospital or district health board, plus La Leche League is a voluntary organization who provide support and advice all around New Zealand. For breastfeeding advice you can also call Plunketline on 0800 933 922.