In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I thought I would share some tips that helped/help me in my breastfeeding journey.
1.) BE PREPARED:
I know that special season of life when preparing for a new baby, things can get hectic and a bit overwhelming. We’re all kinds of anxious about labor, delivery, getting the nursery ready, adjusting to a newborn, etc. But let’s just add one more thing to the list! Getting prepared to breastfeed! It is no small feat, and I think the more prepared you are mentally, the easier it may be! So just do your research on it. What to expect, what is normal, what to watch for, benefits etc. (Reading all the benefits can really remind you of WHY you are doing this, and help you push through the difficult times!) There are a lot of mental mountains to climb with bfing: nipple pain, cracks, bleeding, clogged ducts, mastasis…I can go on and on. Not everyone has all of these issues of course, and there are a lot of tools/information out there to avoid or remedy issues like these, however, you never know and it’s better to be safe and have the materials you need ready.(nipple butter, breastpads, nursing bras, blahblahblah) The greatest struggle for me, was feeling “touched out,” getting prepared to ALWAYS have a body on you 24/7. It can be tough at first, and exhausting, but you did just push out a human after all! You’re supermom already! YOU.GOT.THIS!
2.) HAVE/ACCEPT SUPPORT:
Weather it’s your spouse, mom, MIL, grandma, sister, friend, or the whole village! For crying out loud please educate and use the people who will spend a lot of time with you and your little! This is probably THE most important one! This may be hard to ask for or be clear with. Some may think you just want to deal with bfing privately, they may pretend they don’t see you, not make eye contact and so on…other’s may ask you if u want to go to another room for some privacy, and u may want to…but IF YOU DON’T, that’s ok too! Just explain how you are alone enough and don’t care to feel isolated while you feed your baby even in public *gasp!* which leads me to, making sure your partner or anyone who spends time with you and your L.O in public understands your bfing habits weather you would rather find a quiet spot in private, use a cover, or just go about your business while feeding…whatever it may be, just allow yourself to be transparent and true to yourself. It really helps you feel confident and secure when you have someone who supports your decisions. also don’t be shy to ask for a glass of water and a snack while you’re bfing…I know you are thirsty and hungry mama! Babies take it all out of us! Your appetite is probably increased even more than when you were pregnant.
3.) GET COMFORTABLE:
The most annoying thing about being a new mom, (aside from the major lack of sleep lol) is sitting down to feed your baby and feeling STUCK. you forgot your phone, or book, baby just latched and you feel an immediate surge of thirst as if you just walked through the desert for 3 days straight, you don’t have a burp rag or bib, you pull your breast out and feel your nipple ripping off of your breastpad like a wax strip off of a grizzly bear and so on, and so forth. So, my tip for this one, is to have a comfy spot or couple of spots you designate to feed your little and make yourself a little breastfeeding basket! (Also a great baby shower gift😉) fill it with a couple of water bottles, a healthy snack, breast pads, a burp rag, a book, nipple butter, even a couple of diapers and wipes so you don’t constantly have to keep getting up and down with your newborn.
4.) STICK IT OUT:
The first few weeks of bfing are the hardest for several reasons…
Your breasts are regulating to your L.O’s appetite causing frequent engorgement and constant leaking. Every time your baby cries, your breasts will let down and it is a painful tingly feeling. It is difficult to leave the house or even wear clothes because your constantly whipping your boobs out, or leaking everywhere. Choosing clothes to wear, is a challenge because you need to be able to accommodate a hungry, ravenous baby and still look like you belong in society.
But I promise all of this gets easier! Your breasts regulate according to L.O’s appetite, eliminating the need for a strong let down every time they cry, the leaking stops, no need for breast pads (thank God!) you get the hang of what clothes are easiest and most accommodating for you and baby. And the best part, nipple cream doesn’t stay a necessity! Baby will start to give you longer breaks between feedings and there is no more pain or discomfort! So if you can stick it out the first few weeks, the benefits far outweigh the struggles!