- It is hard. Although breastfeeding is a natural thing, for many babies and mothers, it does not actually come naturally. It takes a lot of work to make it the first 6-8 weeks and then from there it is much more natural.
- You'll never know everything. Chances are you're going to run into 1,387 questions while breastfeeding (especially with your first). We are not made to know all of the answers and you'd be amazed at how much help is truly out there.
- It takes support. In order to get through those first 6-8 weeks of breastfeeding (especially with nursing), it takes support. While it takes support from family and friends, it takes support from a few key people who have conquered breastfeeding and are full of advice.
- There are numerous resources available. There are lactation consultants you can contact locally whether they are independent or through your hospital, there are books galore, there are helpful articles online and typically there are Facebook/Internet support groups.
- Very few women are physically unable to breastfeed. It is estimated that only about 2-5% of women are physically unable to produce milk due to a condition in their breast tissue. Most of us are able to be breastfeeding champs!
- Problems will occur. You WILL run into some sort of small bump in the road along the way (more than likely more than one bump). Just because you run into some bumps, does not mean that it will not work out. Keep trying, Mama!
- Others will meddle. Some women who are unfamiliar with breastfeeding may feel like you're child isn't getting enough, always seems hungry, etc... and will make you feel like there is a problem. Chances are there is nothing to be concerned about, this person is just unfamiliar with breastfeeding (and needs to hush).
- There ARE ways to increase your milk. There are numerous foods you can eat from oats to lactation cookies and almonds to garlic. There are also herbs, supplements and specific teas that are targeted for breastfeeding mothers. And of course the more baby is at breast, the more milk we'll have.
- It's okay to be frustrated. In the beginning you will be exhausted and possibly frustrated. Just when you consider throwing in the towel, you'll snuggle up your nursing buddy and realize just how precious the gift you're giving them is.
- There is almost always a solution. Whether it's not enough milk or too much milk causing problems or whether it's food sensitivities to bad latching, there are almost always fixes to every situation. Unfortunately for some the problem may be hard or impossible to fix, but for many there is typically an answer. It just takes that hard work, support and determination.
- You're not alone. Somewhere else, there is another mother crying because she doesn't know why her baby won't stop crying to eat. Or there is another mother feeling like her body is failing her.
- Growth spurts and cluster feedings are REAL. Sometimes (many times, many days) your baby will act like they are starving and not getting enough milk. As long as your baby is gaining weight and has enough wet diapers, then they are fine! Growth spurts and cluster feeding happen A LOT and are a good thing! And even though you can't see the milk, baby is getting what they want and need; and a growth spurt or cluster feeding is just their way of telling your body to make more.
- Be proud. No matter what happens, be proud of the effort you gave. If the time comes that you want to breastfeed again with another child, evaluate your first experience and have help or consultants on standby to help get you through the second time. Always be proud of your efforts and proud of however much mommy milk your baby received.
Any other breastfeeding mamas feel like this is right?
Any other tips?
With that being said, please don't forget that I am currently in training to become
a certified breastfeeding counselor so I'm always available to help!