Breastfeeding. It’s natural, it’s good, and you will love it! It will be easy, it won’t hurt one single bit, and you’ll lose weight quickly because of it. Heck, you will look down right stunning doing it!
While these thing might be true for a handful of women, don’t ever let anyone shame you into thinking all these things listed above to be 100% truth.
The truth is, it might hurt sometimes. It could be awkward at first. And it might take longer than expected to find the right rhythm that works for you and your baby. The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be rough, but believe me, if you can get through the first few months, great is your reward.
Here are a few helpful breastfeeing tips and tricks I’ve found to work for me, especially during those first few weeks:
1. Throw away any and all to-do lists you might have made, and nurse the baby. Nurse, nurse, and then nurse some more. The time spent is more than just providing nourishment, you’re also developing a bond and relationship with your baby. During the first few weeks, do your best to not watch the clock, feeding schedules can wait.
2. Don’t forget to eat and drink often. The first few weeks after giving birth, I was so much more hungry and thirsty than I ever was during pregnancy. To keep your stamina up, snack often between meal. My favorite things have always been cut up fruit & veggies, slices of cheese, and hummus with pita chips.
3. Seek help. If you get frustrated for any reason, or don’t think your baby is getting enough milk, don’t be too proud to seek advice from a seasoned professional. With Paul (whom I’ve now nursed for the past 3 months), his latch wasn’t good at first. It took someone looking objectively at how I held him and how he opened his mouth, to get things right.
4. Make a “breastfeeding emergency kit”. Get a box of basket of all the things you might need and set it down right next to the chair or sofa you nurse in. Things like a water bottle, a snack you can eat with one hand, clean burp clothes, magazines, and the remote control are all things I like to keep close to me for marathon feeding sessions.
5. Prop baby up on a comfortable pillow to nurse, it will help wonders. You can use a boppy, a my breast friend pillow, or do as I do and just grab a throw pillow from the sofa.
6. Stay positive and expect the best. Mom’s are quick to share and horror stories with each other. But rest assured, you might not experience any of these thing. Breastfeeding very well could go perfect for you, without a hiccup or bump in the road. Go into your breastfeeding experience assuming the best.
At the end of the day, breastfeeding is a trial by error kind of experience. What works for me, might be a horrible idea for you. As moms, all we can do is offer encouragement and support to each other.
We’re all just trying our best. Right?