Recently, I was thinking of all of the things that I was told as a new breastfeeding mom. While some people were trying to help, they didn't really give the best advice. I asked my local natural mamas group to tell me some of the advice they wish they'd received prior to beginning their breastfeeding relationship.
I would like to thank the ladies of the local group I'm apart of for helping me come up with this list!
Be determined. In the early weeks, it takes time and patience. It doesn't come naturally to everyone.
Ask for help and/or find support. Find a group of other breastfeeding mothers. Talk to them about everything. Attend at least one LLL meeting before baby arrives. Check out the LLL website and KellyMom for good breastfeeding advice. One mom recommended the book, "Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers" by Dr. Jack Newman.
Learn baby's feeding cues. Short nursing sessions don't necessarily mean your supply is low. Neither does a fussy baby. The amount of dirty and wet diapers is more indicative of supply.
Nurse on demand. As one mom put it, "throw schedules to the wind". Your colostrum is perfect for baby in the first few days of life. A newborn's stomach is so tiny and cannot fit very much in it. Don't supplement with formula unless you have medical need to. "You don't need ounce markers on a bottle to know your baby is getting enough."
Don't be afraid to nurse your baby to sleep. This is a beautiful thing! Yes, its okay to nurse your baby to sleep. It's okay to have this emotional connection. I understand that a lot of people will tell you otherwise, but when you let nature take it's course, you'll truly understand this beautiful connection. Nursing is more than a way of feeding your baby.
Set small goals. This is great advice and it really helped me. I gave into supplementing my first two babies with formula, so when Avery was born, I was determined not to. We made it two weeks, six weeks, and then six months. Before I knew it, he was 3.5 years old and weaning.
Yes, it sometimes hurts. It's a new thing for your nipples, but the pain passes within the first few weeks usually. Look into ways to heal your nipples like cabbage leaf or lanolin. There's lots of things out there!
Food before one is just for fun. Look into Baby Led Weaning.
Did you receive any of these tips? Is there anything you would add to this list?