Yes, breastfeeding is amazing. It’s all the great things you’ve heard it is, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I am so glad you are passionate about breastfeeding your baby. That is a good thing. You need that passion. I was adamant about nursing all four of my babies and I did just that! There are 15 breastfeeding tips and truths to successfully breastfeed your baby! Accept and embrace these 15 truths about breastfeeding your baby and you are extremely likely to succeed.
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15 Breastfeeding Tips and Truths to Successfully Breastfeed Your Baby
#1. Relentlessness is Your Friend
You are insistent in your desire to breastfeed. That is good. That is necessary. You will undoubtedly face a few difficulties and this resolve you have to do it no matter what will carry you through.
#2. No room for ho-hum.
How do you respond when people ask you, “Are you going to breastfeed?” If your answer sounds something like, “Maybe, I’m not sure, I’m just going to see how it goes.” You’ve cut your chances of successfully breastfeeding way down.
#3. It hurts at first.
Regardless of what anyone tells you: when a tiny human is suckling hard on your flesh non-stop, it’s going to hurt. Don’t think because it hurts at first that something must be wrong. If someone has told you breastfeeding done right doesn’t hurt, what she should have said is, “After the first couple weeks, if everything is going well, it shouldn’t hurt.”
Within those first several days, your colostrum and milk are very thick, so baby needs to suckle powerfully. Ouch! It gets better, don’t give up! (this is where your stubborn resolve comes in, without it you will cave to the pain)
#4. Expect the most discomfort from day 3 to day 14.
This is when a baby’s desire to nurse is rising. She’ll be working to get the remaining colostrum out, and your milk will be coming in. All of these details make for a sensitive nipple. Just be ready.
#5. Discomfort will subside within 2-4 weeks.
Get through the first month, and breath a huge sigh of relief. The most challenging part is over.
#6. Breastfeed often and long!
I didn’t worry about feeding schedules, or time limits in the beginning. Your baby needs to figure out how to eat, as much as you need to figure out how to feed him. From the moment he’s born, and they hand him to you, it is your right to breastfeed as soon as you want, for as long as you want.
Nurse him every chance you get and let him just hang out there as long as he’d like. You have plenty of time later to work on your perfect schedule AFTER you both are breastfeeding masters. When you’re ready to work on your baby’s schedule, go here.
#7. Find That ONE mom!
Seek out another confident and successful breastfeeding mom who has gone before you. Let her show you the way. So often, simply having someone there, saying, “yes, that is perfect!” Or “see how his lips are here” or “hear that sound he’s making?” Can mean the difference between success and giving up.
#8. Only take advice from that ONE mom.
The person you chose to seek breastfeeding wisdom from was chosen for a reason. Obviously, you are positive she knows what she’s doing, so don’t let a bunch of other bad advice confuse you.
#9. Tell people to leave you alone.
Decline unwanted advice, as nicely as possible of course. Anytime you receive unwanted advice or hear words that contradict your breastfeeding goals, practice saying these words, “I don’t accept that.” This will be necessary as your child gets older as well and people want to offer you all kinds of negativity.
#10. Modesty is not important right now.
You need access to your breasts! Don’t be worried about covers, and nursing tops, etc. Limit visitors at first if you need to. There will be plenty of time for visitors once breastfeeding is established and you and baby have the hang of it. For right now, you need to be able to move freely and that means not having to fumble with covers and what not.
#11. Practice the cradle position.
This is the position you will use the most, so practice it to start with. You can try out the others later, once you are established.
#12. Practice the side-lying position.
This position will allow you to rest while you nurse. Because of that, it is the second most important position to master! Get good at this position after you are good at the cradle position but before any others.
#13. Refrain from pumping for the first 4 weeks.
This is another one of those please, please, please, truths! You’ve heard about pumping to increase your milk supply. However, it’s only increasing your milk supply by extracting milk from you. Your baby can do that much more efficiently than a pump! Just nurse instead. Nurse and nurse and nurse some more. When you are ready for a pump, this is the one to get!
#14. Get a few of the essential items you need.
Keep breastfeeding gadgets to a bare minimum! All you truly need is your breasts and your baby! However, there are a couple things, like nursing tanks, zip-up hoodies, and breast pads that will indeed make life easier.
#15. Do the math on how much money you’ll save on formula!
In the beginning, you’d need about 2 tubs of a formula like this a week, on average. That’s about $60 a week on formula. Knowing how much you are saving will help you stay motivated.
I want to tell you about two real-life breastfeeding stories, to give you an idea of the number of diverse experiences women have in order to be successful at breastfeeding. Names have been changed.
Breastfeeding success stories.
Sara was determined to breastfeed her first baby! Like, ferociously obsessed about it. She knew no matter what, she would not relent and would never spend a penny on formula. When her first baby was born, she did not ask for a lactation consultant, she did not ask for help from other moms. She was the first of her friends to have a baby, so she was the trailblazer!
Sara did her own research, educated herself and told the nurses at the hospital what she expected when her baby was born. She kept him in the hospital room with her and only allowed the hospital staff to take him if it was absolutely necessary.
Sara breastfed her baby without complication. In fact, absolutely nothing went wrong. Everything was just the way she envisioned and she was beyond grateful for the Lord’s blessing.
The one and only thing that took Sara by surprise was the pain. For the first 2 weeks of nursing, every time her baby would latch, and begin to suckle, the pain took her breath away for the first 30 seconds. As each breastfeeding session went on, the pain subsided and by the time her baby was 2 weeks old, there was zero pain and they were both breastfeeding pros!
Jenny was young when she had her first baby and had no support system. She considered nursing, but when it didn’t happen easily, right away, she stopped trying and went to formula. She raised her first baby, healthy and happy.
By the time she had her second baby her life looked quite different. She was married and had a few supportive friends. Jenny wanted to try breastfeeding again but knew she’d need some help.
She made her mind up that this time, she would be successful at breastfeeding, whatever she had to do.
Jenny called upon a friend who had successfully breastfed and helped other moms. She educated herself and consulted lactation specialists. When her second child was born, Jenny faced every obstacle you can think of.
Her baby was a “lazy-latcher” and would not stay on the nipple for more than a few seconds at a time. She had inverted nipples and had to use special shields like these, every time she nursed. Jenny dealt with pain, swelling, over-production of milk, mastitis, and complications galore!
She successfully breastfed her 2nd, 3rd, and 4th baby! How? #1, she was good and stubborn! #2, the mom who came to helped her was there to say, “Yes, that is good, keep doing that!” #3, the determination Jenny possessed triumphed over the pain she faced those first 4 weeks.
After the 4 week mark, Jenny was finally able to nurse without pain or fear. Thanks to the experience and victory she had with that second baby all her subsequent babies were able to breastfeed and Jenny knew what obstacles to be on the lookout for and how to defeat them!
Way to go Jenny!!
The bond is indescribable
Your baby is YOUR baby! God made you for your baby and your baby for you. The passion you feel about breastfeeding was placed in your heart on purpose. It’s part of who you are. Don’t let anyone squelch that fire.
The 15 breastfeeding tips and truths that I have given you will greatly increase your chances of successfully breastfeeding. Be good and stubborn, be picky about your support system and educate yourself.
Breastfeeding may be a walk in the park for you. OR it could be one of the most difficult experiences of your motherhood. Either way, you can be successful. Some of the most worth-while missions are the most difficult. Do it anyway!