A compendium for my expectant friends

Our oldest grandson born to our oldest son and his wife in 2012.

Dear Friend

I’ve got so much on my heart to share with you. I’ve been working on presenting information for new parents, especially moms, since 2013. I’m not sure I’ve got the presentation exactly right. I don’t know everything. I struggle to adequately share the passion of my heart. Sometimes I feel I might be too passionate. I don’t want to alienate new parents, but perhaps I have.

It’s just that the stakes are pretty high. Listening to the wrong advice can impact our whole life. I try to avoid giving advice. I urge new parents to investigate and understand everything – from car seat safety to medicalised births, and all procedures that are recommended for new babies. Don’t take anything for granted, especially when there are major industries involved.

Since my first baby was born I have been passionate about breastfeeding, one of the most empowering acts a woman can do.

The wonders of breastfeeding are far-reaching and well documented, yet, despite what we know, the actual breastfeeding rates are quite low. Woman are not getting helpful information or the support they need to be successful in breastfeeding their babies. I truly don’t believe it is a failure on the part of women, but a failure on the part of our culture and society. Many times a new mother’s attempts to breastfeed can be complicated by standards of care for pregnant, laboring, and new moms. Misinformation abounds in our society. If every mother and father fully understood how breastfeeding impacts life-long health and well-being, they would be far more committed to searching out information on how to be successful. Listening and following the wrong information could sabotage your best attempts in breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a learned art. Breastfeeding is best learned from someone who has been successful at breastfeeding, has helped other mothers reach their own goals for breastfeeding, and has enjoyed the process. All five of my babies and all six of my grandchildren have been breastfed. My daughter-in-law has told me many times that I need to write a book for young moms who are trying to navigate the world of motherhood.

Here are some of my blogs I’ve prepared for someone just like you. I pray you will browse, check out my sources, dig a little deeper, and come to your own conclusions. I am always available to discuss anything. I try to keep an open mind and dig for the truth. I share with you because I care about you and the health and happiness of your future babies.

Our oldest granddaughter born to our second son and his wife in 2010.

Many friends have shared information with me along my journey of motherhood which began in 1982. I am thankful they did. Motherhood is perhaps the most difficult yet most significant job we will ever have in life. I’ve never met anyone who wanted to be a bad mother. I’ve never met anyone who wanted a miserable baby. Yet I’ve met many mothers who face profound discouragement and when they trace back their journey they often find it was because of poor advice they were given early in their motherhood career. I pray you will find strength in your motherhood journey and have wisdom to discern what is best for you and your baby.

Blessings,

Becky

Here are some suggestions on places to start on specific topics. You could consider it something like a table of contents in a book.

Author: Becky Hastings, wife to John for 36 years, mother of five naturally born breastfed babies, grandmother of six, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a volunteer breastfeeding counselor since 1993, Becky is devoted to helping parents, especially mothers, make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies.

2 thoughts on “A compendium for my expectant friends

  1. Another beautiful post Becky and I LOVE the photos! You are so right that breastfeeding is “a learned art” and as with any art it requires commitment and practice. Unfortunately, many new moms get discouraged in the early weeks when nursing isn’t quite as easy as they had expected. The best piece of advice that I ever received on breastfeeding, soon after giving birth to my oldest daughter in 1978, came from a nurse while I was in the hospital, who said, “Only take breastfeeding advice from a mother who has had a successful nursing experience.” I took her advice and never forgot it. I had beautiful breastfeeding experiences with all three of my daughters and have done my best to help and encourage new breastfeeding moms. How gratifying it is for me now to watch my oldest daughter have a happy and successful breastfeeding relationship with my first grandchild! Fortunately, there are wonderful lactation consultants and people like you available to encourage and support new moms who might not have a mom, family member or friend who can fill that role. God bless and take care . . .

    • Jeanette,
      Thanks. That is great advice – not only someone who was successful, but someone who enjoyed the breastfeeding experience. I find it incredible that we have so many more resources today from lactation consultants and the internet, yet the rate of exclusively breastfed babies up to even 3 months is still very low. Moms today face a lot of stress from expectations and social conditioning. I’ve worked with many moms who tried hard but did not succeed with their first baby, but through that difficult experience developed a rock solid commitment and determination and managed to successfully breastfeed their second baby. I sometimes wish we could package that type of stubbornness and give it as a gift to the first time mom who has no idea what is ahead!
      Becky

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