After the birth of my first child, I was still reeling from the fact that we had to deviate from my birth plan (I had no one there reassuring me that this was ok). A birth plan I had created on my own, and was desperately holding onto. When really it was a dad attempt at me trying to remain in control of... Anything.
I remember specifically stating to my nurse that I wanted to breastfeed. I had taken a few breastfeeding classes at the hospital I birthed at, but none of the information seemed to be helpful in the first moments of trying to feed my newborn... The nurses offered no assistance, just formula. The lactation consultant, visited me twice during my hospital stay. Both times, she stayed for all of twenty minutes... My family couldn't understand "the big deal" and why I was so insistent on breastfeeding, even though I tried to explain many times. My daughter screamed from hunger, I cried outta frustration, my husband looked on helplessly.
I gave into my persistent nurses, even though formula shouldn't had been offered to me right away. I couldn't get my daughter to drink the formula. My nurse, completely missing a teachable moment, took my daughter from me to feed her in front of me. I was robbed of one of my first bonding moments with my child as a first time mom.
The day before I was discharged, the lactation consultant bought in a hospital breast pump. She briefly showed me how to use it as a last ditch effort to feed my daughter. I Left the hospital with no plan. Through a lot of trial and error, I ended up exclusively pumping to breastfeed my daughter.
This is why you need a birth doula. This is why I became a birth doula. At one of our most vulnerable times in our lives, we need advocates. Someone educated on things you may not be. Someone who can navigate the hospital system for you. Someone to assist you in breastfeeding and bonding with your child. Some one to help you and your partner to prepare for parenthood. So that no woman who feel as helpless as I did.