If you haven’t given much thought to how you will feed your baby once they arrive, there’s no time like the present!
You have to decide whether you want to feed your baby formula or breast milk.
There are many reasons why some moms prefer formula right off the bat.
Regardless of whether you intend to start with breast milk or not, following are my top 5 breastfeeding tips. These are all things that I’ve learned firsthand, after having 3 children…
#1 – Your Emotions Can Affect Your Success
Breastfeeding is not just a physical thing — it’s an emotional experience too.
Women who experience traumatic birthing experiences and those who do not feel very connected or bonded with their babies often have a more challenging time getting their milk production where it needs to be during the first few weeks after delivery.
So even though you may fully intend on breastfeeding your baby, your own body might prevent it.
#2 – There Is Some Discomfort
Many women claim that breastfeeding isn’t painful. But for some women it is.
Nipple sensitivity is a big issues for some new mamas.
Babies have to suckle and suck hard on the nipple in order to draw the milk out of the breast.
Since newborns tend to stick to their moms like velcro during the first few months, this can increase the amount of discomfort you’ll have to endure if you suffer from nipple sensitivity.
Also, when you take into consideration that this is also the time period where dry and cracked nipples are most likely to occur, it’s not surprising that some new moms give up and resort to formula feeding.
#3 – Support Really Helps
There is so much involved in breastfeeding that you will need support at times — no matter how long you decide to breastfeed.
Sometimes you’ll feel like there is no separation between you and baby, and other times you may feel emotionally drained and ready to throw in the towel.
Having a family member (or several) that you can talk during those times to get encouragement can really make a difference.
#4 – Your Diet Is Important
Breastfeeding burns calories, but that doesn’t give you a license to eat anything and everything you want.
You have to remember that what you eat your baby also eats.
So try to maintain a diet that includes various fruits, veggies, and the proper supplements. Avoid alcohol, large doses of caffeine, and other harmful substances.
Stay hydrated. You’ll need to drink more fluids to help keep your milk supply up. A good way to remember to drink fluids is to drink a glass of water at the start of each breastfeeding session.
#5 – Rest Is Necessary
Breastfeeding takes a lot from you.
To others, it may look as if you are relaxing or being lazy when you’re feeding your baby.
However, breastfeeding — especially during the early months — can be exhausting.
You’ll need to get lots of rest to maintain your milk supply.
My Experience With Breastfeeding
The 5 breastfeeding tips above are all things that I learned from my own experience.
Due to a lack of support and knowledge, I did not breastfeed my firstborn past 1 week. I was exhausted and frustrated.
I still occasionally feel guilty about it — since I breastfed my toddler for almost 3 years and I’m currently breastfeeding my youngest who is less than a year old. However, due to certain issues, I also have to supplement her with formula.
No matter how easy or challenging your breastfeeding journey may seem, the best piece of advice I can offer you is to keep going. Don’t give up. The road may be rocky, but the bond and the sense of accomplishment you get from your efforts are well worth it and invaluable.
Even if you have to resort to using baby formula, at least you know that you gave it your all. And at the end of the day, your baby is still being feed and satisfied.
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