As I sit here and think about how it all started 9 months ago I can’t help but smile and feel grateful for my experience. Sometime during my pregnancy I decided that I was going to have a natural birth without interventions and that I was going to breastfeed.
I was very careful to who I spoke to and what I read as I did not want my thoughts to be clouded and fear based. I did not know anything about giving birth or breastfeeding until it was time to do it. I did not see the point in reading up on it if I could not practice or possibly imagine how it felt, as it was my first time for everything. I am a very hands on, visual learner so I knew it would all work out once my little angel was born (or so I hoped).
On Friday April 8th, 2011 at 8:54pm, after 18 hours of painless labour (with the help of my wonderful husband, amazing teacher/doula Ilona Fritsch, and HypnoBirthing classes) my beautiful daughter Tessia Riti was born.
At first and for a couple of hours afterwards, she did not want the breast. I guess she was just so relaxed and comfortable that she just wanted to be cuddled in mommy’s arms. After 2-3 hours of not eating the nurses suggested that I try again and if she was still not interested we would have to express the colostrum and give it to her manually. My first thought was “express” what does that mean? (Remember I did not read anything on breastfeeding beforehand).
Babies are the real breastfeeding pros!
I tried nursing the best I knew how using my common sense and she still did not want the breast. She was not interested and very sleepy (as I would be too if I travelled down the same path she just did!). The nurse showed me how to express and it worked. My daughter took the colostrum manually and fell fast asleep.
As we all know and experienced there are many different nurses involved during the 44 hours stay in the hospital. Some are good, some are not, some are caring/loving, and some are not. I got a mixture of both and I am happy to say that overall I had a very good experience with everyone at Cité de la Santé Hospital in Laval.
I only gave one feeding manually and then Tessia latched on and drank like a champ! I guess she needed time to adjust to her new surroundings. The nurses came in every 3 hours to remind me to breastfeed and she did every time. Every nurse had their own opinion, 15 minutes each breast, only feed from one breast, wake her up to eat, don’t wake her up to eat… Let’s just say I was counting down the hours to our departure. I wanted to get home and start my new life with my new family.
Here is the moment where I would like to give a BIG BIG thank you to my amazing friend Laura Conforti. If it wasn’t for her and all of her advice and support I can’t imagine where I would be right now. She gave me tips and reassured me when I thought things were bigger and far worse than they actually were (THANK YOU LAURA ). As she advised, I started drinking the milkmaid tea and applying the nipple cream after every feeding. My nipples got sore but hardly cracked or bled (maybe only for a couple of days). I am one of the lucky ones, I know.
Now home, my amazing supportive husband was very helpful. Tessia slept and ate every 3 hours. We co-slept for the first 4 months and then she got too big for the bassinet. At around 5 months she started waking up more often to eat, every hour or so. I was exhausted and felt like a machine.
After speaking to other wonderful mothers, I found out that maybe my milk was not fatty enough (more water than milk) which would explain the frequent feedings. The watery milk would get digested faster. So, again, my amazing friend Laura suggested healthier, fattier foods to thicken my milk and it worked! She went back to feeding every three hours.
Nine months later and my little one continues to breastfeed twice during the day for naps and every three hours at night. We have our good nights and we have our interesting “let’s stay up all night” nights. I am tired, I am sleep deprived. Sometimes I get moody but when I see her big shiny eyes and beautiful smile it’s all worth it. I am grateful for this once in a lifetime experience and I am happy to share it with you.Enza Lacono
A different vision of birth and infants.
In October 2010 our daughter Evelyn was born. My mother in-law says that each child arrives with a piece of bread under their arm. In other words they arrive bearing gifts.
One of the gifts she bought to us is the discovery of HypnoBirthing. After receiving the book as a gift we (my husband and I) took the course with Ilona Fritsch and we are very happy that we did. The predominant story about birth in our society is one of pain and labor for the mother and a sense of helplessness for the father. We rarely think about what the infant is going through but when we do we see birth as a harrowing terrible experience where we must have doctors who monitor every minute to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
And when we think about infants and children we have this story that makes them out to be helpless, just a digestive tube or some kind of incomplete adult. The HypnoBirthing course offered us a different vision.
It gave us tools so that the birth was way less painful than we expected. Relaxing the muscles, light touch massage, effective use of breathing and various relaxation, visualization and fear reducing exercises as well as a clear message to ignore time were all very helpful during the birth. Also my husband felt wonderful that he could take part in the process rather than just stand by and watch.
The powerful emphasis on the intelligence and capacities of infants was very meaningful for us. The encouragement to recognize that the child is already present even before birth and the importance of starting the relationship before birth was essential. The reflections on what babies need after having worked hard and showing so much competence during the birth process helped us to feel empowered as parents.
Another benefit that is not negligible is that the tools that helped us stay calm and focused during birth also help us to maintain that state in the sometimes difficult post birth period. We are very pleased that we have options that we can try when our daughter (who suffers from colic) is uncomfortable.
If we can reduce the fear and recognize our innate abilities to bring a child into this world and then parent those children effectively we have gone a long way towards offering our children a very precious gift which is parents who are calm and less stressed. Working with families I see so many people who no longer listen to themselves and don’t trust their instincts. The HypnoBirthing course is one step in the process of reclaiming our power as parents. I sincerely hope that if you are expecting a child and reading this that you will take the next step of picking up the phone and calling to sign up for this course.
How you treat yourself during pregnancy and birth will set the tone for your child’s and your family’s entire life. Birth can be a beautiful and peaceful experience and so can being a parent. HypnoBirthing can help you make this vision into a reality.Suzie Csizmar