You may have noticed content here and on our Instagram page discussing multiple methods of infant feeding -- sometimes formula, sometimes combination feeding, sometimes breastfeeding or chestfeeding. So whose side are we on, anyway?
Both. The focus and objective of Lantana Collective is to reinforce the wellbeing of postpartum people, full stop.
So why even discuss infant feeding?
Because it's basically impossible to separate postpartum wellness from feeding. Particularly in immediate postpartum, there is a lot of time, energy, and potentially, money (lactation consultants, feeding systems, breast pumps, donor milk, formula), pain (cracked nipples, mastitis, engorgement) and heartache spent on feeding. As soon as a baby is born, it's vital they begin gaining weight. As a postpartum person, it feels like a giant clock starts ticking and you're racing against it. No matter how you choose to feed, that is a lot of pressure and it can feel daunting. Combine that with physical recovery, sleep deprivation and drastically-shifting hormones, and feeding success or challenges can really make or break your postpartum experience.
As a result, being informed and supported in your feeding choices has a huge effect on your mindset and mental health in postpartum. If our goal is wellbeing of the postpartum person, we have to help new parents 1. understand their options 2. support them in being successful using the options they've chosen, which may include hands-on, individualized care 3. continue reminding them of other options if at some point they encounter a new hurdle or want to make a change.
Nursing a baby is a biological and physical skill. Like any physical skill, some will find it develops more easily for them, and some will find it more challenging. Let's use running a marathon as a comparison.
Some people love running and are "natural runners." How nice for them!
Some people like running, and want to get better at it, so they practice and find ways to improve, and it works for them.
Some people really want to run a marathon, and it's just really damn hard, and ultimately doesn't work out or isn't worth the level of effort or sacrifice.
And some people just don't like running.
NOT EVERYONE HAS TO LOVE RUNNING!
It's not kind or helpful to try and make everyone love running. It's not kind or helpful to tell aspiring marathoners to give up running when it gets challenging. We can support each other's choices whether they are the same or different as what works for us.