These days, I'm getting better at not screaming or tearing my hair out... So I'm actually able to maintain my composure when I hear a woman say that *someone* told her that her baby shouldn't fall asleep at the breast.
But let me rant for just a moment... It is OK for your baby to fall asleep at the breast. In fact, it is more than OK... it is completely normal! And I'm just so tired of hearing people say that it's not.
Listen, if it wasn't normal for babies to fall asleep all cuddled into their mother's breast, don't you think nature would have caused breastfeeding to release a cocktail of stimulating hormones into baby's brain, rather than all that oxytocin which makes them relaxed and snoozy?
The fact that we live in a culture that thinks it's wrong to offer our infants comfort and security through breastfeeding, even though it is completely instinctual and what nature intended for us to do, is so bizarre. Why do we insist on making mothering so complicated?
Feeding to sleep is NOT causing bad habits. Trust me when I say that they will eventually stop falling asleep at the breast and when they do stop, you will miss it.
Besides, nature has gifted you this incredibly easy way to put your baby to sleep/back to sleep (especially in the middle of the night) - USE IT!
Enjoy it while it lasts and above all, just enjoy your baby. There is so much joy to be found in these quiet snuggles. And I can promise you that you will never look back and regret moments like these.
Georgina Dowden is a mother, midwife and lactation consultant (IBCLC).
In her day to day life, she looks after her two beautiful children and also supports other families on their parenting journey.
If you would like to get in touch sleep/settling support, click here:
Home visits for breastfeeding support available if you live in the Northern Rivers of NSW.