Being a first time mother can be fraught with a lot of worries and concerns especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Tamara who had her baby at Sidra Medicine, shares her experience and how the lactation support she received helped her through her journey of motherhood.
“The whole experience including pregnancy, going into labour, birth and then the breastfeeding process – are all significant milestones. However, at the same time it can be an overwhelming experience for first time parents. This was especially the case for my husband and me.
Our son was born in January 2021 at Sidra Medicine. The care that we received throughout our special journey of early parenthood was exceptional. We deeply appreciate the support and guidance that was provided to us by the nurses, midwives, doctors and the specialist consultants at the hospital.
However, if there is one particular service that stood out, it was the lactation support I received from the lactation consultants. Their guidance helped me throughout my journey - during my pregnancy, once my son was born and post-partum, particularly as I was getting ready to head back to work after my maternity leave.
While there is a lot of information about breastfeeding online, nothing can prepare you when you are faced with the reality of being responsible for your child’s nutrition and growth. Also, being expatriates and giving birth during the pandemic meant it was a bit more challenging as we couldn’t have our family with us during this time.
While I was able to regularly connect with my family overseas, having the expertise of the lactation specialists on hand really helped. They were always patiently hearing me out and explained everything in detail from a professional perspective.
Having the guidance of lactation specialists meant that my husband and I were provided with valuable information that would help both of us. I wasn’t in this journey alone and he also had an important role in play in terms of being supportive and understanding.
After I learnt about the amazing properties of breast milk, I knew that I wanted to try to exclusively breastfeed my son. Not only was I providing customized food for my baby, but the breastfeeding experience is a beautiful way for me to bond with him. Plus it’s always available, has various medicinal benefits and always at the right temperature.
Everyone, including the nurses and midwives at the hospital were passionate about encouraging breastfeeding, in a respectful non-intrusive way. This was very motivating and helpful. My lactation consultant Agnes Despi, was very gentle and kind in her approach. She was kept checking up on us throughout our stay in the hospital.
It is a comforting experience knowing that you are getting the expertise from certified consultants, who are also very passionate about supporting mothers through this journey. They provided me with a full assessment of breastfeeding and how to help me reach the feeding goals for my baby. I could comfortably discuss things like pumping or when I developed mastitis and always felt assured and supported.
What was very useful was the feeding plan, especially once I was ready to go back to work. Both Agnes, and another lactation consultant, Ada Vahtrik helped answer all my questions. They gave me so many useful tips and recommendations and helped clear a lot of my doubts and worries about breastfeeding as a working mother.
We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity and ability to be given access to the professional assistance of Sidra Medicine’s lactation consultants. I wish more people learn about the benefits of a mother’s milk for the child. The service was exceptional, and I felt I was in the best of hands thanks to the much needed advice from knowledgeable experts with years of experience".