Congratulations! Baby is here and ready to eat! If you’ve chosen to breastfeed, you’ve probably started learning about alllllllll the things that come with nursing.
But here’s the thing:
Sometimes, even when we read and prepare ourselves the best we can, we can forget every bit of knowledge we had. Sometimes, it just goes right out the window.
Never fear. When it comes to having a newborn, there are so many moms out there who have been there and can pass along their words of wisdom. And when it comes to breastfeeding, any bit of help is welcome.
Here are the top tips for breastfeeding, from different moms who have been there.
Be prepared, find what works for you, and understand your body.
Being prepared helped me be more successful my second time around. I know people discourage the use of nipple shields for new breastfeeding moms, but I legitimately wouldn’t have made it past a few weeks if I didn’t start out with those. I used them until the pain subsided (2-3 weeks with my last two children), and ten discontinued using them. I really credit them with my success.Ashleigh
As far as painful latch goes, as well, it isn’t always necessarily a poor latch that causes it. For some women, breastfeeding just hurts in the beginning, and that’s also normal. I had both kids looked at by a lactation specialist, who confirmed their latches were perfect, and I still had a lot of pain at first. So, don’t let that be discouraging.
Talk to a mom who’s been there, and ask questions. You’re feeding your baby.
Having a good friend who had done it before, and was honest about it all, helped a ton! Also, having a supportive spouse and not being afraid to ask questions! The first baby was easy as far as latch, but so hard socially…after I realized I’m just feeding my baby, and I became less self-conscious, it got much easier. Oh, and baby-wearing while nursing saved my life with numbers 2 and 3!Darlene
Find support from your partner, family, and friends.
Support from your family goes so far!!Ashleigh
Be patient, and find affirmations that hold true for you.
Just being patient! Always keeping the quote “Your body knows what your baby needs” (Affirmations). Paying attention to your body and the way your baby responds! Educating yourself as much as you can on breastfeeding! Remember it gets easier! Never give up!Sunacia
Find the support you need.
Find a good lactation consultant that will of out of her way to help you and your baby. And hang on to her forever!Tracey
Count on what matters.
It is absolutely going to feel like maybe baby isn’t getting enough. Count what comes out, not what goes in.
The 3s Rule: Day 3, Week 3, Month 3, mark intense growth spurts resulting in extreme cluster feeding. It is normal.
And feed on demand.Sara
Look for honesty. We prepare ourselves for childbirth, breastfeeding is no exception.
Honesty. I was told it was definitely going to be painful, for about two weeks, and I could get through that, I would be fine. I know many, many women who quit because of the discomfort, or the general feeling that something they were doing wrong was causing the discomfort. Like, no, you’re not doing anything wrong. You’re just new to having a human eating from your boob.
And the reason I feel like this is important is because nobody ever told me until I was about to have the baby that it would hurt. I didn’t think about the fact that it probably would (in hindsight, I’m like “duh”).
And breastfeeding definitely isn’t something that’s portrayed as being uncomfortable at times. It’s portrayed as the beautiful mom in the white sunlit room with her boppy just enjoying the hell out of life, not at all leaking breast milk down her legs and onto her feet every time she stands up or sits down.Elizabeth
Navigate the pressure and challenges that work for you and your baby.
Don’t let the pressure and/or judgement of friends, family members, and Facebook Heroes sway your decision. You do what’s right for your baby and your mental health. If that means breastfeeding until baby is 3, go for it. If that means you have to give up on breastfeeding because you cannot handle the stress or pressure you put on yourself, do it.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, Momma–you gotta take care of your FIRST to take care of your baby.Shelby
You are not alone when it comes to needing support, information, and advice. When it comes to breastfeeding, we need all the support we can get–it takes a village, after all!
What do you wish you had known before breastfeeding? Or, what did you learn that you think might help a new breastfeeding mom?