By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
When you’re pregnant or have a new baby, sometimes all you want (and need) is help. But due to Rona restrictions and border closures, it feels like we’ve had to navigate this tricky time alone. And sometimes we have literally been going it alone… to ultrasound appointments without our baby-daddies by our side, without our families nearby, and without face-to-face appointments with midwives and obstetricians. It’s all been a bit surreal, and I really feel for first-time mums.
Luckily, Rona has also birthed some clever ideas and many support services have moved online, so that parents can still feel that connection and get the help they need during pregnancy and after the birth of their bebes. The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is one of those services, helping families and mothers who are struggling with Rona restrictions and border closures to access the help they need for both them and their baby.
Tasmanian mama Megan Nayler, whose daughter Lumi was born in June, had to cancel her baby shower and embrace #isolife with her husband from mid-March. After Lumi’s birth, Megan said the support she received from ABA meant she was still able to breastfeed her daughter through the stresses and challenges of COVID-19.
“It’s scary to have a baby during a pandemic. You have a perception in your mind of what pregnancy and having your first baby will feel like and it was so different to that. I was so overwhelmed by it all, with no one but my husband able to visit us in hospital that I ended up leaving the hospital on day two — much earlier than I’d anticipated,” she says.
“I had a few issues with breastfeeding and my mother-in-law put me in touch with ABA who stepped in with lots of support — mentally for me and physically so I could breastfeed Lumi. It was a lifesaver. I can guarantee without Rosalie (my mother-in-law) and ABA I would not be still breastfeeding.
“I wanted to be sure that Lumi got off to a great start: I’m her source of food, comfort, security and health. I knew that if I had questions regarding breastfeeding’s importance I could easily approach Rosalie or ABA for up-to-date and accurate research-based information.”
If you’re a breastfeeding mama, you can access ABA’s support services here.