For new moms about to begin breastfeeding, or those of you who have just started, you probably already know how tough it is. Awkward? Painful? Frustrating? If you agree and are having some difficulties, know that it’s okay. And to help make your breastfeeding journey a bit smoother, we’ve listed down some tips just for you!
Giving your child better immunity, nourishing him or her, reducing your risk of breast cancer–there are a whole list of benefits you and your child can get from breastfeeding. You can write it down on a Post It, and stick it in a place where you’re guaranteed to see it everyday. So if you feel like you just want to throw the towel in, remind yourself of what both you and your baby can gain from it.
Some moms do direct feeding all the way, while some moms opt to use a breast pump. If you decide to go for the latter, investing in a good pump can make all the difference in the world. The right pump can help you express milk without much discomfort and pain. Ask other moms what brands they have tested, and why they like it. And though some might be a bit pricey, it might just be an investment you’ll be using for a long time.
Comfort plays a huge part in breastfeeding. If you’re uncomfortable, the higher the chances are of you breastfeeding for a shorter period of time. Finding a comfortable way to nurse, whether it’s looking for the perfect position or spot, or even investing in a nursing pillow, goes a long way. And don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it immediately, it may take some time to discover what works for you.
Do you know how long you want to breastfeed for? One year? Two years? Three years? More? Whatever your goal is, keep it in mind. But even if you’re not sure or are taking it a day at a time, it’s okay. You can even set daily goals. Like, “Today I will breastfeed for two more days.” “Tomorrow I will breastfeed for three more days,” and so on.
Whether it’s something you’ve been eying for a while now, or even a trip you’ve been wanting to take with your husband, tell yourself you’ll only get it if you reach your goal. That way, you make it more fun and challenging!
As you’re breastfeeding, take the time to have a little cuddle with your baby. Look at his or her tiny toes, touch his or her soft hair, and just admire your little one. It’s at times like these that you get to cherish him or her, and the bond that you have as mother and child.
Does your baby have trouble latching? Do you have a hard time producing milk? Do you feel pain? If you’re having trouble with any of these issues, it may be best to seek the help of a professional. Don’t wait until you get frustrated, but consult with a lactation consultant, your OB, or a pediatrician right away.
Some moms are able to increase their milk supply with ease. But that’s not always the case. Don’t fall into the trap of comparison or the burden of being overly pressured by how other moms are or how their breastfeeding journey looks like. Discouragement may overpower you when you feel you are not achieving goals that other moms are. Remember that breastfeeding is a journey between you and your child–one that is uniquely yours.