1. A satisfied, healthy baby on your breast...who gazes up at you as your milk dribbles from her mouth. Owing to your plentiful milk, your baby is gaining weight and sleeps for several hours in between feedings.
2. A hot luxurious shower, shampoo and massage...shower, feed your baby, and then sleep. Sit down on a shower stool and allow the water to flow over you as you relax all your muscles. Start at the top, scalp massage during shampooing, let the water and your hands work on your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let the water flow over your breasts and gently massage downward, without pulling the skin, from your armpit to your areola. From your collarbone downward, ribcage upward, from the center of your chest inward, the whole breast. Express some milk and spread it on your areolas after toweling dry. Your baby is stimulated by the scent of your milk and skin.
3. To lie down and breastfeed in peace...in a bed with clean linens, lots of pillows and phone off. Focus on your baby’s face, body and beauty. Sing to her as she swallows your milk. Your milk will continue to flow as long as your baby is sucking and swallowing, low fat followed by heavy cream.
4. To have hunger and thirst satisfied immediately...a pitcher of iced tea, a small plate of cheese or nuts or cookies next to the bed, the couch, the rocking chair. Sipping a fragrant beverage or tasting a favorite food during breastfeeding is a part of your sense stimulating ritual that signals your body to feed your baby.
5. Valuable, rewarding sleep...uninterrupted, skin-against-the-sheets kind of well-deserved sleep. The time of day is unimportant. Napping for 20 minutes makes you more alert. Napping for 30 to 60 minutes sparks creativity and your ability to remember details. A breastfed baby that sleeps up to 4 hour at a stretch, especially if it’s at night, is your chance to dream.
6. Food for the family...the freezer is full of prepared meals and food delivery services have learned to find your house. Lean protein, high fiber. Friends and family have helped with twice weekly shopping trips for fresh vegetables and fruit. A postpartum doula can do this for you, as well as prepare same-day, aromatic meals.
7. A clean house...nothing to feel guilty about so you can devote your energies toward your health and making milk. Your friends, partners and family keep up with the laundry and housekeeping until you are able. These chores are also within the scope of a postpartum doula, along with advice on your personal care and your baby’s progress.
8. A lactation consultant on call...perhaps this should be #1...you got it right from the start. Your pre-natal and postpartum visits have served you well. Your baby is thriving and so are you. You have received science-based advice and hands-on guidance. You are able to call your LC with concerns or questions as your baby continues to breastfeed for many months and years to come.
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