If you know me personally, the number one thing I'm passionate about for new babies is BREASTFEEDING.....I'm 7 months into my 3rd breastfeeding journey and I've been the unofficial lactation consultant for a few of my friends. It's my favorite thing about a new baby!!!!
I always encourage moms and give tips whenever I'm asked.
So in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Week here’s what I’ve learned during my journey.......
Before I start I want to preface by saying that....FED IS BEST!!!
I understand that there are women who aren't able to breastfeed for a number of reasons. So if you can or can't. If you do or don't it doesn't matter.
t’s okay if you choose not to for any of these reasons. Or can’t at all.
Fed is best. Fed is best. Fed is best.
We do not drive this home enough to new moms. It’s okay if you give breastfeeding a shot and decide it’s not for you. It’s okay if you decide you don’t want to try at all. Some moms deal with low milk production and aren’t able to breastfeed, and some babies end up in the NICU with mom unable to breastfeed. Whatever the situation, as long as your baby is fed, that’s all that matters. And we need to stop judging moms on the decisions they make to care for their babies.
1. Start Immediately
Start Immediately if you can.
With each birth I've made sure the nurses, doctors and my husband know that I want to establish the latch immediately. As soon as I give birth I start skin to skin and place my baby on my breast to establish my supply. Its important the first couple of hours for mom and baby to get familiar and comfortable with each other. If you need to maybe ask visitors to hold off for the first day while you and baby start your journey do so.....
Breastfeeding DOES hurt.
It hurts a LOT especially in the beginning. This can be due to a poor latch for the most part. But here’s the thing…it’s rare babies come out latching perfectly. It takes a bit of time to get the hang of it and learn each other. Babies mouths are all different sizes, and our boobs are all different shapes and sizes. And once engorgement hits, it changes things up again (which usually happens when we get home from the hospital with no help!). Add in the fact that recovery from childbirth is no walk in the park and most moms give up before the 1 month mark. BUT IT GETS EASIER.......it may hurt now but you and your baby will figure it out together.
It takes time.
It most likely won’t happen overnight. In fact, it will most likely take weeks. And that’s okay. I promise you aren’t alone! Sometimes it’s helpful to find a breastfeeding support group where you can ask for help or share experiences with others! Try looking for some in your area or find one on FB.....it helps to have the support of other moms
It’s NOT easy.
I've been fortunate enough to have a fairly easy time with all 3 babies....but this is not the case for everyone.
If it comes easy to you, that’s amazing! But it surely hasn’t for many other mamas I know. And this is what NO ONE tells you going into it. I feel like if you knew it was going to be hard and had realistic expectations, you might not be as stressed. If breastfeeding is what you’re choosing to do, be patient while you learn your baby.
Also its a huge time commitment especially if you ave a baby like mine who refuses a bottle. Mason is the first of my children to only nurse from the breast. I tried pumping like I did with Evan and Ava but so far we haven't been successful with getting him to drink expressed milk.
In the beginning I recommend feeding on demand to establish a good supply. When I pumped I made sure to pump at least every 3 hours.......its definitely a huge committed.