As the mother of a 15-year old son and a new baby daughter of 10 weeks, I like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two about breastfeeding.
Do I know it all?
Nobody does. Even lactation consultants, doctors, and specialists are learning more and more every day.
What I do know is what works for us.
Let me back up a bit. I was unsuccessful breastfeeding my son fifteen years ago, due to a myriad of reasons, such as lack of support, plain old ignorance, incorrect information along with sleep deprivation and a touch of postpartum depression. Add it all together and it makes an impressive negative cocktail. Suffice to say that when I found myself pregnant this time around, I was determined to gather my information and make the best attempt to be successful.
As it turns out, I WAS successful, and you can be, too.
First, make sure you have a supportive partner. I can’t stress this enough. There will be times you’ll want to give up. There will be times you’ll feel so exhausted, you can’t imagine making it through another feeding. There will be times you’ll wonder if you have enough milk. Even with all these feelings, with a supportive partner, you’ll make it through. Knowing you have someone close to you in your corner can literally make all the difference.
Second, keep a positive attitude. Visualize yourself succeeding at breastfeeding. Failure should be the furthest thing from you mind. Go in with a positive attitude, and you’ll rise to the occasion. We were designed to feed our children from our breasts, and most of us will do just that.
Third, seek the guidance of a lactation consultant or specialist breastfeeding midwife. There is no question too small or too stupid. They have likely heard it all. Let the lactation consultant watch you nurse. They will provide you a wealth of information and give you hands-on examples of proper breastfeeding. I went and sought their sage advice no fewer than five times.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is this: breastfeeding can be HARD WORK. It’s NOT always the most ‘natural thing in the world’, and yes, it can be a learning experience for both mother and child, but if you take your time, investigate reasons for barriers, you can most likely enjoy a successful breastfeeding relationship.
Breastfeeding is about so much more than simply feeding your baby. Babies nurse for a variety of reasons such as thirst, boredom, pain control, and comfort, just to name a few. When you are scratching your head, wondering how your little one can possibly be hungry already when you just nursed her an hour ago, remember this. Take breastfeeding day by day. Every day the relationship is mutually agreeable for both mother and child is a successful day.
If you are a breastfeedig mother or interested in breastfeeding issues join the #EBNJC chat this Wednesday 30th April 2014 8-9pm GMT.
For more information and resources, please visit the following:
La Leche League: http://www.llli.org/
Safe medications during breastfeeding: http://www.infantrisk.com/content/antibiotics-and-breastfeeding