…Contemplating the Core Elements of a Modern Breastfeeding Lifestyle
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Conscious Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Confidence Game

Confidence, according to dictionary.com is a noun.   

1.full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.  2. belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance.

There is a familiar catchphrase.  ‘Fake it until you make it’.   Such attempts at  imitating confidence to produce success often fall short for breastfeeding mothers.   

  • They worry about how the experience will be for them, and whether or not they will be successful. 
  • There is no margin for error when it comes to feeding and nurturing their babies.

Jerry Stocking was interviewed on the subject of confidence.  If you have time, please check out his blog   where you can read and/or listen to his wonderful perspective on this subject.   He believes that confidence is  more of a process than a thing.  I agree with him, especially when discussing it in relation to breastfeeding. 

The kernels of wisdom from his interview are as follows:

  • We want it all without the risk.
  • We run into problems when we get caught up in the why’s.
  • We should not opt for structure over possibility.
  • Confidence and Competence should leap frog for best results.

Conscious breastfeeding is not a no-brainer.   It is a skill that is learned by the mother and taught to her baby.  In reality, there is a process that we must go through to learn any skill.  In his blog post, Learning = Change, Rowan Manahan discusses movement through the steps of lthe learning curve (photo) below. 

  1. Unconscious Competence:  A mother acknowledges that breastfeeding is a skill to be learned.  She becomes pro-active in the learning process.  To move to the next level, she may need an intervention to assist her in learning the latch.
  2. Conscious Incompetence:  The Aha moment comes when she realizes she must make a decision. Her choice is whether to change a sub-optimal latch, grin and bear the pain or abandon breastfeeding altogether.  This stage of learning can be as short as 3 weeks.  The key is not to give up because of  physical discomfort or mental frustration or exhaustion. 
  3. Conscious Competence:  Modifications are learned and made which make the latch consistent and pain-free.
  4. Unconscious Competence:  Breastfeeding is operating well without conscious thought.  It is ingrained in the body memory.  The skill has been mastered.

Confidence is a way to play with with the unknown, to learn.  It is present in the first steps of the learning curve as we pay more attention.  With the acquisition of skills, confidence becomes grounded in competence.  Ultimately, it becomes second nature, leaving us with a sense of mastery.  

Confidence can open us up to a much larger game.  The secret is to not become afraid of change.  The balance is struck when we maintain an on-going dance between having faith (confidence) and developing the ability to do something (competence). 

Conscious Breastfeeding mothers put their full attention on optimizing their experience. This is the ultimate confidence game for mothers.

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1 Tweets that mention Conscious Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Confidence Game — ConsciousBreastfeedingConnections.com -- Topsy.com { 06.29.10 at 5:27 am }

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Máire Clements, Máire Clements. Máire Clements said: @JeanetteCates (#19) Conscious Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Confidence Game http://budurl.com/cbc30day19 #blog30 [...]

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