As a Midwife I am sorry.

 

When Breastfeeding Awareness weeks are shared on social platforms, I am always so aware that many women may feel triggered by all the sharing around breastfeeding.

Triggered because maybe you tried and feel like you did not meet the feeding objectives you had.

Triggered because you may be wounded by your breastfeeding journey.

Triggered because of how frustrating the misalignment of promotion vs support felt for you.

As a midwife I want to say…. I am Sorry for my part in this. It is not your fault.

 

I am sorry that when you came for your antenatal visits, we could not spend more time educating you and preparing you for breastfeeding.

I am sorry that during your antenatal childbirth classes only a segment of time was given to talk about it.

I am sorry that you may have missed the in person care you needed during lockdowns.

I am sorry that you were not lead/supported in a birth that positioned your body, your brain and your baby primed for optimal success in lactation and breastfeeding.

I am sorry that in that first 24hrs it may have felt that we were too busy to help you, even though you felt completely overwhelmed.

I am sorry you may not have been made aware of normal newborn behaviour and how to know if your newborn is getting enough milk until after you had already worried, doubted, and lost trust with your body.

I am sorry for all the conflicting advise you may have felt you received.

I am sorry that you probably did not receive continuity of care, which should be standard.

I am sorry that you were sent home perhaps earlier than you felt you should be with the promise of support at home.

I am sorry if that support at home felt rushed and not enough.

I am sorry if due to Covid you weren’t adequately supported at home.

I am sorry if you didn’t know who to call if there were problems.

I am sorry if you felt alone in working out what you were doing.

I am sorry if you learned more in retrospect of your journey and that left you frustrated.

I am sorry if community support felt too difficult to access, physically, socially and/or emotionally.

 

I am just so sorry.

Most midwives I work with share my disappointment in being unable to offer the midwifery care we all desire to, which includes preparing you for breastfeeding in a way that meets your objectives and aids a positive transition to Motherhood.

We are tired from trying to advocate for better support for you, we know you deserve better.

It is not your fault.

 

We know most people won’t have a village around them to support them.

We know that one of the biggest keys to breastfeeding success is that you do have support around you.

We are sorry that you aren’t always given that.

We know that even if you do have a village around you, they may not be equipped, enabled to support you the way you need to.

It is not your fault.

 

As a midwife, I know my colleagues and myself are trying our very best to care for you and your baby within the constraints of this fractured system that was only fractured more during the pandemic.

We know you deserve better.

It is not your fault.

 

So, during this World Breastfeeding Week for those of you feeling triggered or disappointed I really wanted you to know-

It’s not your fault.

I really am sorry if you were left feeling that way.

 

While it may feel like too little too late, I’d like to point out some breastfeeding and lactation support that is available to you, especially when your immediate level of support does not feel sufficient.

 

Breastfeeding & Lactation Support Pathway

Rachel

Author Rachel

I am Mum to 3 little ones, aged 6,3 and almost 1, Wife to my high school crush, Midwife at our local hospital and Creator of 'Out of the Nest'. I hope more than anything to do all these things well and maybe empower and encourage others along the way. Though its quite the juggling act, and balls do drop ALOT, so I am happy to talk about that too. xx

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