When we were in hospital in those very early days, and feeding wasn't working out as planned, I had a flurry of people come to my bedside and try to help me. There were midwives and nursery nurses and breastfeeding counsellors and peer supporters, and they all had different advice. From changing breast to trying a different hold to setting a time limit to letting the baby go for as long as she wished, from squeezing the nipple first to massaging the breast to hand expressing to machine expressing to topping up with formula to not topping up with formula, everyone had a different view. And then the shift would change and I'd see a new lot of midwives and nursery nurses and breastfeeding counsellors and peer supporters all of whom had different views again.
I suspect any single one of them would have worked had their advice been consistent, or had I been able to choose one and have the confidence to follow their advice even when their colleagues were telling me something expressly contradictory. Would it really be so difficult to be consistent, or at least have a plan to enable women to try one thing properly before moving on to the next?
Ways to improve postnatal care #1: Don't call me mum
Ways to improve postnatal care #2: Change the sheets
Ways to improve postnatal care #3: Help us buy the basics
Ways to improve postnatal care #4: Allow partners 24 hour access
Ways to improve postnatal care #5: A debrief for all new mums
Why I love the NHS