Hydration and one-handed snacks help with breastfeeding sessions

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Abby Berggren has been a labour and delivery nurse for six years, and currently works at the IWK Birth Unit. Ten months ago she and her husband welcomed their first child, Sadie. We asked Abby about her breastfeeding experience and what has been helpful for her.

Tell us about your breastfeeding experience.

Our breastfeeding journey has been quite smooth! Sadie was eager to latch right from the get-go, and we continue to breastfeed on-demand ten months later.

What does breastfeeding mean to you?

While exhausting at times, knowing that I was the only person to be able to provide her with nourishment for the first six months of her life helped establish the close-knit bond that we have. It also means so much knowing that there are so many benefits of breastfeeding for both her and me.

How do the people closest to you support your breastfeeding journey?

None of the people closest to me have ever doubted my decision to breastfeed, and they have all made me feel comfortable while doing so. My husband is an amazing cook, so he keeps me well-fed. This is his way of playing an indirect role in helping feed our daughter.

What has been helpful to you throughout breastfeeding?

Staying well hydrated and having plenty of healthy snacks (especially ones you can eat with one hand) is so important while breastfeeding! I swear the pocket at the ends of the bassinet are for storing middle-of-the-night snacks. Also, the La Leche League website has very useful evidence-based information.

Is there anything you would want new parents to know about breastfeeding?

If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you will be doing it a lot! Making sure you’re comfortable will make your nursing sessions so much more pleasant. Also, breastfeeding is a skill – it may take lots of practice before things go smoothly, so give you and your baby grace, and ask for help from a lactation consultant when needed.

From October 1 to 7, 2021 IWK Health is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) both within the organization and out in the community. This year’s theme is Protect Breastfeeding, It Is a Shared Responsibility.