By Liz Trevaskis
What’s the one bit of advice, the thing that helped the most, the one thing you wished you had known, or the one thing you’d go back and tell yourself… to help you through the first few weeks and months of breastfeeding?
The one bit of advice that helped me the most, came from my GP. She always said “the only two things that matter are that your baby is putting on weight – and your mental health.”
If either of these things changed – if either he stopped putting on weight, or if my mental health was suffering, we had to change our approach. It was no good for him to be putting on weight, if I was sinking into depression. And of course if he wasn’t putting on weight, whatever we were doing wasn’t working.
This wisdom guided me in persevering with breastfeeding, in amending our goals, and in changing approaches.
It’s the mantra that I remind myself of when I look back on our breastfeeding journey, and all the things that didn’t go to plan. If I question myself about having done the right things along the way, I remind myself that it was the only piece of advice that mattered, and that we always let it guide us.
It was also the one bit of advice that my husband felt really confident in. Because of course these were the only two things that mattered to him – the welfare of mum and baby. Having one piece of advice that we both felt so confident in, provided some real stability as we navigated our way through breastfeeding in those first few weeks.