According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a nest is defined as:
a) a bed or receptacle prepared by an animal and especially a bird for its eggs and young
b) a place or specially modified structure serving as an abode of animals and especially of their
immature stages <an ants' nest>
c) a receptacle resembling a bird's nest
As Human mama’s, we also NEST with our young, in very similar capacities as our fury, feathery friends. I can recall after having my first child, finding the need to venture out of the house to get ‘fresh air’ at the nearest shopping center or grocery store. Not only did my child remind me every few minutes that she was in the process of a growth spurt, but boy oh boy did I ever hear the flak from every person with a keen sense of maternal inclination. “OMG, tell me you did not take your child out of the house” or something to sort. That’s when a respected and beloved friend explained to me the term ‘nesting’. I had never heard of it before and immediately envisioned a bird gathering twigs or regurgitating its food from its beak to feed her infant chick. Nesting is two-fold and now years later I’ll break down 2 different ways you can look at the word NEST and apply it to the role of a new Human mother.
Can be looked at as removing all external worries or responsibilities that would typically take precedence prior to the birth of your child, while replacing it with baby-focused attention, rest and more rest. Whenever I teach a Prenatal Education class, I explain that just as baby will sleep, eat, pee and poop, REPEAT - so should mom during the early days of the postpartum period otherwise known as the 4th Trimester or the NESTING stage. It is completely healthy to have the desire to clean, organize, cook, do laundry, etc. It is also healthy to do NONE of those things. They’ll be ready and waiting when you are in the mental space to put energy and effort toward them. This is an excellent opportunity to ask grandma, auntie, neighbor or friend to assist in any way they are willing to fill in. Nesting can last for 4-6 weeks or more.
N – NURSE often, on demand, focusing on your baby and absolutely nothing else. Don’t watch the clock-
watch your baby and his/her hunger cues. Remember hunger cries are the latest cue of hunger and
baby was actually hungry 30 minutes ago.
E – EDUCATE yourself on breastfeeding, contact a Peer or Professional Breastfeeding Supporter
(Successful Breastfeeding Expert), ask questions and seek out resources in your community, debunk
breastfeeding myths (like breastfeeding is supposed to hurt a little), talk to your peers that have
been successful with breastfeeding, attend a breastfeeding support group prenatally or as a new
mom – this will help in terms of seeing breastfeeding IRL (In Real Life). Remember that years ago, we
were successful with breastfeeding because we saw it every day and knew what ‘normal’ looked
like, thanks to our village of support.
S – SKIN TO SKIN can be done at any time with any parent/baby dyad (mom, dad, sibling, grandma,
aunt) regardless of feeding choice during newborn stage and beyond. Skin to skin helps stabilize
baby’s biological function within the body (heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature), increases
bonding and reduces mom’s stress while increasing moms oxytocin levels, thus reducing the risk of
PPD (Postpartum Depression). Keep in mind that the solution to almost EVERY infant issue can be
resolved by bringing baby skin to skin, including latching difficulties.
T – TRUST your baby and trust your body. When given the opportunity, just moments after delivery –
most healthy-term infants, moments after delivery, will make their way to the breast when placed
on moms belly or chest. This is known as the ‘Breast Crawl’. Likewise, just as your body was capable
of sustaining your unborn infants life in utero for 9 months, so is your body yet capable of
continuing that same work in sustaining your growing infants life while on the ‘outside’ of you (this
applies to both singular and multiple births).
To watch our video on NEST for BF Success CLICK HERE or watch below.
Welcome to this new blogging journey I have embarked upon. I look forward to sharing stories, successes and maybe even a few failures (since we all learn from our failures and move on to better and higher right?). I envision an intro post in the near future along with a story or two of how I started this journey as a Lactation Professional and Successful Breastfeeding Expert. In the meantime to read my Bio click HERE.
As always for more information or to schedule a Successful Breastfeeding Prenatal Class , Successful Breastfeeding Support Service (In-Home Session) or a Return to Work Workshop visit our website at http://www.successfulbreastfeeding.org/
“Jennifer was fantastic. In my second week postpartum, I was upset because breastfeeding was not going well. I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my little one but I was ready to give up. Jennifer was able to come over that day and in 2 hours give me peace of mind. She was extremely professional and had a lot of information. She was also able to answer all of my questions I had, plus more. I was successfully able to get my little one latched without pain and feeding the correct way. I would highly recommend Jennifer as a lactation consultant.” Jessica M.
It will be easy. Baby will latch just fine. You’re a natural. Don’t worry. Millions of mother’s breastfeed. It can’t be that hard, right?
Those were all common phrases spoken to myself, in third person, prior to the arrival of my first kiddo. Yup that’s right, I told MYSELF all of those absolutely ridiculous things. I believed them. My affirmations were my truths until SHE came, three weeks early I might add.
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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