Posts Tagged ‘hands-on approach’
No, I am not talking about breastfeeding twins. I am talking about the observation of lactation consultants at work trying to insert themselves in the delicate interaction between a new mother getting to know her baby. Seeing a lactation consultant tower behind the mother, reaching out with hands to manipulate her breast, or perhaps, the baby’s lips is like seeing a sex consultant on your honeymoon.
This hands-on approach is so prevalent in medicine to justify your paycheck. If you don’t visibly do anything, you may be worthless. There are also time constraints. Getting to know your baby takes time. Learning to breastfeed takes time. Time is money at the hospital hence no time for anything slow. Medicine is also result oriented. We want results in the shortest amount of time possible. Babies must be born within this time-frame. If you don’t fall within our nifty charts, you are off the charts and off onto a surgical suite for you C-section. The same thing happens to breastfeeding – you must comply with some numerical ideas proscribed in lactation books or else. You baby will be forcefully plopped on the breast or else. Else being pump or formula.
Breastfeeding threesomes have become so normal that women are convinced that some magical “better” lactation consultant can help them figure out to latch their baby on. If these two failed, there must be that one magical out there who would have helped. This learned helplessness can be observed in some Jack Newman videos where a mother is absolutely passive and a third party does everything to facilitate breastfeeding for the baby. This can be observed in hospitals where mothers sit and wait for lactation consultants to come work their magic, mistakenly thinking that it would be the lactation consultant doing the nursing for them just like the OB-GYN did the birthing for them.
In the end, the women who succeed with breastfeeding are the women who figured things out on their own. Even with the difficult beginnings, women who try, fail, and try again eventually succeed. Their baby takes the breast and the woman breastfeeds. Hands-off approach to breastfeeding help is being their to reassure, perhaps model, maybe suggest… not insert yourself between the two people who just met each other.