4 Secrets of a Breastfeeding Mom
I am not one of those moms who likes to obsessively research, I actually generally don’t enjoy researching and I don’t like spending my time doing it.
Throughout pregnancy I did very little research, I kept my head down, read a couple very specific books recommended to me on pregnancy and childbirth and really kept my eyes focused on getting through the birth experience, which seriously freaked me out. I knew after giving birth I’d have the resources and help from my mom and my mother-in-law to navigate this new and exciting yet sometimes overwhelming experience. And that is just what I did, so I walked into my breastfeeding experience with NO CLUE what I was doing. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and I figured it would just happen. Well, it didn’t exactly happen like that for my firstborn, Lucia.
She had trouble latching and before they discharged me from the hospital the lactation consultant, who was incredible, spent 3 hours with us, making sure we were going home prepared for a wonderful breastfeeding experience. During those 3 hours she spent a long time on positioning, making sure I had adequate supply and eventually giving me the nipple shield to use, which made it possible for me to nurse in the beginning. She said she doesn’t normally offer it to people but she felt like with my case, it would be extremely helpful with giving Lucia a strong latch.
I used the nipple shield for about the first month of our breastfeeding relationship and it was a lifesaver!! I eventually weaned her off of using it and we continued to nurse, exclusively until she was 10 months old, then introducing food (she just wasn’t interested), and our experience only ended once I got pregnant with my second baby, and Lucia was 2 years old. Since Lucia had health issues (food allergies and ulcerative colitis), I was not motivated AT ALL to wean her, and we were both happy and thriving, so no need to end a good thing.
I was also working full-time as a teacher until Lucia was 18 months old, so our nursing time, even at night was part of our bonding and I did not want to sacrifice that precious time I got with her.
A few tips I derived from my experience and hopefully will encourage you in your breastfeeding relationship….
1. Realizing that breastfeeding is a commitment.
It is by no means easy or convenient all the time, you have chosen to give your child breastmilk and it means a major commitment on your part, accepting that from the beginning will allow you to navigate the waters of life with more ease.
2. Keep healthy one-handed snacks on hand always!!
Especially in those early months, when feeding yourself is hard, and trying to also feed another human. One-handed snacks are necessary because how many times do we mama’s need to be nearly 100% focused on caring for our newborn, but ALSO NEED FOOD!!
My favorite one-handed nutrient dense snack is Bobo’s, they are non-gmo, vegan, soy free and certified gluten free, so safe for our family with allergens. Also nutrient dense and filling for the hungry breast-feeding mama.
3. Get Support!
For me this meant relying on my mom, mother-in-law and doula when I was freaking out, I called them and they encouraged me, calmed me down, assured me that what I was experiencing was totally normal. Find that support person that you can call in a moment of freaking out for help.
Also, be clear with your spouse. My hubby is extremely supportive, BUT he didn’t know anything about breastfeeding so there were a few occasions where I had to explain to him WHY what he was suggesting was a HORRIBLE idea, and once he understood how breastfeeding worked and why I believed what I did, he always got on board. So educate your spouse, with love and help them learn how to support you in breastfeeding.
Implementing these tips will help you reduce your stress around breastfeeding, enjoy the experience and feel assured that you are a good mama, and you’re doing your best!
4. DRINK WATER
This is critical and so obvious, but remember once you're feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated, so try to stay on top of it. Keep a water bottle with a straw nearby so that you can easily drink one-handed, plus a straw helps you drink more water. Seems odd, but it's true. Try it!
Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Bobo's but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.