Level 3, Placement 1: Because you know it’s all about the breasts

My first of three, 2 week placements for EPP is at a breastfeeding clinic. At first, I was bit frustrated that I got this elective because I really wanted to do … something else … I wanted to do something that I wouldn’t already be learning as a midwife, like shadow a pelvic floor physio or learn from the prenatal genetic counselling clinic. But, as usual life was all:

you-cant-always

This is one of those life lesson moments, though, because once I started at the breastfeeding clinic, I realized that there is a whole lot about infant feeding that I didn’t know about and probably should know before going into fourth year.

Now, after only one day, I feel like a breast whisperer.

I ride my bike to the clinic every morning feeling like a character straight out of Call The Midwife. I’m usually thinking something like: “I’m coming to help you and your breasts!”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-2-22-03-pm

Throughout the day at the breastfeeding clinic, I learn:

  • All sorts of different infant feeding positions
  • How to identify different types of tongue ties
  • How to manage baby to gain its required weight.
  • Premature infant feeding
  • How to wean babies off breastmilk

On my last day of placement I realized that I am now confident in:

  • Bilirubin blood work while babies breastfeed
  • Fixing proper latches
  • Identifying dehydration

Mostly I learned how to individualize a plan for women who want to breastfeed but are struggling. We often think the options are exclusive breastfeeding or formula, but as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be either or. There are a range of solutions for infant feeding that still include breastmilk: supplementing with expressed breastmilk in a bottle, finger feeding, or adding a lactation aid on the breast for low milk supply are only some examples.

(Check out the awesome breastfeeding resources at La Leche League for a bit more detail on that and more.)

The moral of the story is …

This placement reminded me that even when you are allocated something you don’t want, it can teach you a whole lot if you’re willing to let it. A whole lot about boobs and stuff.

Points for going with the flow: 1.

 

 

 

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