I have realized over time that Breastfeeding does not come naturally to many women. I do practice in the Northeast in a heavily populated area. The make up of our culture has implications for breastfeeding. The majority of my clients have never seen a woman breastfeed. Many women have not even had exposure to a newborn. Simply holding a small baby is a daunting first task that must be learned in order to successfully nurse. Other cultures in my area are very different in contrast.They likely have grown up around many young women in their family who have been breastfeeding. They have observed the techniques and normalcy of nursing and may have more experience handling newborns. These women have an advantage and often have less difficulty learning to nurse. We can overcome this lack of exposure with adequate support, teaching and practice. This does not delay the initiation of breastfeeding. I do observe that this issue can cause some additional anxiety around having a newborn and learning to hold and feed the baby. As a Lactation Consultant and a Registered Nurse, one of my goals is to empower women and their partners to feel more comfortable with their baby and become independent with feeding and care.
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