National Breastfeeding Month is in August, so I thought I’d get a head start and share some tips that helped me while I was nursing my son. I knew I wanted to breastfeed, so I took some classes to help me get prepared. It seemed pretty easy enough and I thought it would just come naturally. Little did I know how challenging it would be for me.
My milk supply didn’t fully come in for a few days and I felt so confused. Is my baby getting enough to eat? Why is he still crying? In all honesty, I felt like a failure. Looking back now, I know I was being hard on myself for no reason. I guess nobody told me that what I was going through was completely normal! After a few weeks, things started getting better, and little by little, I started getting the hang of it.
One of the best decisions we could have ever made was hiring a lactation consultant. She was so great at answering all of my concerns and developing a nursing plan. My nursing sessions went from lasting one hour to about 30 minutes. I learned that it takes a lot of patience, and the bond that I created with my son while nursing is indescribable. It was our special alone time. I breastfed until he was 8 months old and can say it was so worth it.
Here are a few tips I picked up that helped me along the way.
- Relax; it takes about two weeks for you and your baby to learn the art of breastfeeding. It is like dancing!
- If nursing hurts after the first 30 seconds of sucking, take the baby off and start over. There is no pain.
- You are not nursing a clock, so understand your baby’s feeding cues. You know your baby better than anyone.
- Once breastfeeding is going well, put 8 clean diapers on the changing table around midnight. By noon the next day, the baby should have soiled at least 4 diapers, if not; the baby may not be feeding enough.