How did mothers ever do it? A grandmother I met recently said ‘I wish I’d had support from someone like you when I had her’ while pointing at her daughter holding her grandchild. And from the bottom of my heart I said ‘I wish I’d had support from someone like me when I had my first child’.
How did they manage it, those mothers who came before us? Did they learn breastfeeding instinctively? By seeing nothing but breastfed babies? That is probably part of the explanation. But only a part.
Because almost every culture on this planet allows women a period of confinement after birth. A period where she can rest, take care of her baby and, very importantly, has the help of other women. To teach, show and support her in breastfeeding and taking care of the lovely demanding new baby.
Not only do we as Westerners have cut down on that confinement period, we’ve also over the last decades lost a lot of knowledge about breastfeeding. So we need external help. And time, and patience. Here is a lovely article to support that view: Secrets of breastfeeding from global moms