Breastfeeding your baby as a first-time mom can be overwhelming.
It feels like there are so many possible things to worry about.
Are they latching properly? Are they getting enough milk?
Lip ties, tongue ties, overly sleepy babies, fast let downs, under supply, over supply… There’s so much to work through when you start breastfeeding.
However, it can be a really magical and joyful bonding experience, once you and your baby get it right.
The thing is, breastfeeding is a learning experience for you and for your baby. Yes it may seem like it’s a totally natural thing and should therefore come naturally. But, rarely does it actually happen like that.
With the right help, some good tips and tricks, time and patience, you can absolutely have a successful breastfeeding journey!
Below is a list of some things to remember, some things to expect, and some tips to help you through your breastfeeding experience.
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BREASTFEEDING CLASSES HELP
Did you know there are classes taught by certified lactation consultants??
Before I got pregnant, I had never heard of the fact that there were people out there who came equipped to make feeding my baby easier on me.
And goodness, was I thankful that I had taken a class when I started breastfeeding. It truly helped me know what to expect and get a good start right from the beginning.
You never expect it to be so hard, and everyone’s experience is different. But a breastfeeding class can teach you all the things you never even would have thought about.
This Milkology Ultimate Breastfeeding Class is taught by Stacey Stewart, a certified lactation consultant, and let me tell you, she knows her stuff! She is a breastfeeding guru, and even has classes on Exclusive Pumping, Back To Work Pumping, and increasing your milk supply.
I took a breastfeeding class and I loved learning about such a natural act and all its crazy amazing benefits. I imagined my little one and I bonding over such an intimate act even more.
INCREASE YOUR BREASTMILK SUPPLY
If you are having issues with your breastmilk supply, there are a few ways you can help increase it.
These Milkmakers Lactation Cookies helped me so much when I wanted to up my supply, and I highly recommend them! They are also super tasty.
Earth Mama Organics makes a delicious breastfeeding tea to help increase breastmilk as well.
You can also:
- Pump between feedings to increase supply
- Do skin to skin with baby
- Nurse on demand
- Eat lots of healthy milk-increasing foods like oatmeal, almonds, dark leafy greens and Brewer’s Yeast
RELATED BREASTFEEDING ARTICLES
DON’T FORGET MAMA…..
IT IS MENTALLY DRAINING, BUT SO REWARDING
I never expected after my body being taken over by this little human for 9 months, I would feel like my body was yet again, not my own.
I never realized the mental and emotional toll it would take on me. I always knew it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows, but I didn’t expect this.
I felt selfish for feeling like this. I constantly battled with myself over these feelings. I felt bad that so many women desperately wished they could have the issues that come with breastfeeding and here I was, blessed enough to never have any major problems with our experience, at least none that weren’t fixed with time and practice.
Shouldn’t I be grateful to provide for my baby? Shouldn’t I love this bonding experience with him?
The reality is there are so many aspects of motherhood that are just plain hard. No two mother-baby experiences are the same.
And things really do get so much easier! It’s so rewarding knowing you can provide the proper nutrition for your baby right from your body.
You created them, and your body still knows exactly how to care for them afterward. Us mamas are truly magical!
THE BOND MAKES IT WORTH IT
I do love seeing his eyes stare up at me. I do love listening to him try to talk and nurse at the same time or stop for quick smile at his mama. I am proud of how great of an eater he is.
And regardless of how I felt, I will always be grateful for how blessed we are for our experience with breastfeeding.
So many moms want to breastfeed so bad and never could, and although that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard, it does make me so grateful for the experience we’ve had so far.
I love my son more than anything and I believe breastfeeding really helped us create an amazing bond. I know you can have that too, mama!
FORMULA IS NOT EVIL
Sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work out, for so many different reasons.
Those reasons don’t have to be physical! Your mental health has to come first and if you decide you don’t want to breastfeed anymore, or never want to at all, that’s okay too!
There are so many great formula options to look into, for every baby.
This is one is called Earth’s Best Organic Formula. It is said to be closest to breastmilk and is certified organic by the USDA!
A healthy and happy mother is much more important than forcing breastfeeding if it just isn’t working.
If you’re here reading this post and thinking, this is all great and helpful, but I really think I need to just stop, then stop mama. This is me telling you that your baby will be fine either way and no one will ever know or care how your baby was fed.
And if you want to push through, you absolutely can. Breastfeeding isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and that’s alright.
I was determined to push through because it was still a priority of mine, and I’m so proud of both my son and I for doing so.
I’m proud of you for making whatever decision is best for you and your baby!
YOU CAN DO IT
For those who are struggling but want to keep going, make little goals and celebrate like crazy when you meet them. Take a breastfeeding class if you can, ask other moms about their experiences. Be as prepared as you can, but know that your experience is special and unique.
To those who made it a week, a month, 6 months, 2 years… to those who just weren’t able to no matter how hard they tried, and to those who just didn’t want to, be proud in your journey.
To those who love nursing, who have loved it from the beginning and intend to nurse for as long as they can, I am so happy for you. Keep going and soak up every minute!
Every mom who makes a decision to be a happy mom, to have a fed baby, is a wonderful mother. No decision as a mother is easy. We’re all just trying to do our best to raise happy, healthy babies, making sacrifice after sacrifice. At some point, you have to take care of yourself too.
No matter how you decide to do that, I’m proud of you. And you should be proud of you too.