Breastfeeding requires a lot of time, patience and selflessness and it can be a lot of pressure, solely on you. It can feel like a weight on your shoulders some days and this may make you want to throw the towel in. But on the flip side, it can be one of the most natural and rewarding things you will ever d0.
I should point out that I am by no means a breastfeeding expert. My baby and I have been extremely lucky to have such a successful feeding relationship (we’ve just hit the six month mark) and I am very grateful for that.
I should also point out that not everyone is as ‘lucky’ as we have been. Sometimes, even after a lot of hard work, breastfeeding just doesn’t work out.
Hopefully, my tips help you along the path of success, so here they are
- (First and foremost) LOOK AFTER YOURSELF!
You cannot expect your body to be able to look after and provide for someone else, if you are not taking care of its basic needs. This means:
- EAT. It is essential for you to eat healthy, proper food. This is no time to start a diet or to have Mcdonalds for every meal . Make sure you have good food in the house and that its easy to make and eat. I relied on the freezer meals I cooked during my last trimester for my lunches as my newborn was on me ALL THE TIME.
- DRINK ALL OF THE WATER. Not only will this aid your recovery AND be good for your skin and body, it’ll really help with the feeding and your supply.
- REST. I know this is MUCH easier said than done when you have a small baby, but try your best to get in any rest where possible (Lie down on the floor with your baby when they are playing, try to have a little sit down when they sleep, etc.)
- BE CONFIDENT:
So many women doubt / second guess themselves and their body’s abilities when it comes to breastfeeding. Your baby and your body really are amazing and they really will work together to help create what it is baby needs. Be confident!
- BE PATIENT:
I remember those early days. Especially the first 5 days before my milk came in, my baby was literally on the boob 90% of the time and I wondered how i’d ever make it through. The next few months, her feeds would take about half an hour and would be every 1.5-2 hours. Now, she can finish a feed in about 4 minutes. Remember that it will get better, but try and use that ‘downtime’ to relax. I watched the whole series of Gilmore Girls in those early days. I’d just sit on the couch with my water and my baby and relax. I know the messy house might be yelling at you but who deserves your time more?
- DEMAND FEED:
Is your baby hungry? Feed her. That simple. It might not work for everyone, but trying to put her on a strict schedule just seems so odd to me. Some days she might be more hungry (or thirsty) than others so why shouldn’t get get extra food. She might be going through a growth spurt and need it, or she might just be hot and need a drink. Think about how you feel when you’re hangry…
- NORMALISE BREASTFEEDING:
Don’t hide it. Don’t sit in those STINKY, horrible baby change rooms if you don’t have to. Breastfeed in public and own it! Our bodies were made to do this and there is nothing to feel embarrassed about.
- EAT OATS FOR BREAKFAST:
This tip may seem random however oats are a lactogenic food (i.e they have lactation-promoting properties) which means they will help to maintain / boost your supply. Other than that they are delicious, cheap, easy to make and are full of fibre.
Good luck and happy breastfeeding! x