Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, recounts the breastfeeding lessons learnt from Lockdown after speaking to new mums.
Despite many women struggling during lockdown, there have been vital lessons learnt from this period, particularly in regard to breastfeeding. Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, shares her insight on breastfeeding lessons learnt from lockdown from her experience of speaking to new mums during this time.
With antenatal appointments no longer held in person, less frequent visits from your midwife and GPs across the country closed, it has been challenging for pregnant women and new mums to get as much support from healthcare professionals as usual. To add to this, the nationwide lockdown has meant expectant or new mums have also been lacking the face-to-face support from their family and friends, which they used to have, before the pandemic struck.
Babies are Returning to Birth Weight Quicker
However, despite this, there is a silver lining to be found, with midwives and new mums telling us of their positive experiences as well, including the fact that there has been an increase in the number of new born babies who are coming back up to their birth weight by day 5 during lockdown – something that has not been seen in decades.
The NHS suggests that babies should be back up to their birth weight or above by two weeks old. However, as a midwife, myself and others have been told and have experienced firsthand a huge change since lockdown, where we have seen babies coming back to their birth weight at just five days old, compared to pre-lockdown where a lot of babies were taking up to two weeks.
The Power of ‘No’
Usually when a new baby is born there is an inevitable flurry of visitors, however, as that has not been possible, this combined with the imposed time at home, its seems to me that many new mothers have found it easier to establish a breastfeeding routine with their baby during this period.
In fact, one of the key lessons that I believe we have learnt from lockdown is how important it is to empower women to say ‘no’ to visitors when their little one is a newborn (if they want to of course), in order to have more time to bond and establish a breastfeeding routine without feeling guilty.
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