When I was pregnant I was certain that I would not breastfeed. I thought you want me to put what, where, to do what and for how long!?! I thought it was kinda gross and unnatural. My husband encouraged me to do it. He asked me to nurse her for just 6 weeks. I researched and found all of the benefits to it and decided I could do it for just 6 weeks. In the hospital Anna was so itty bitty that they wanted me to supplement. I had a hard time nursing the first time because I didn't have a clue as to what to do. I got so very frustrated! By this time the lactation lady was gone and the nurse I asked didn't have a clue. That night was a horrible night. I kept trying and I couldn't work it out. Which meant I had to supplement more. I hated it! The next morning as soon as the lactation consultant was on duty I had her come to my room. She showed me how to hold Anna and how to get her to latch on. It was a relief just knowing what to do. After that it got much easier but every time I had to supplement I hated it! Finally I decided to stop supplementing and see what happened. Guess what happened my milk came in and she got plenty from me. We nursed for almost 2 years. I loved every minute and I still miss it!
Tips I Wish I Had Known
- Talk to the lactation person at the hospital as soon as you can after delivery. They say breastfeeding comes naturally but for a lot of moms it really doesn't.
- Start putting Lansinoh on your nipp1es about 2 weeks before delivery. This will help prevent cracking when you first start nursing.
- When you take your shower don't use soap on your nipp1es. That will simply dry them out which causes cracking or splitting.
- Know that nursing is not always easy. Sometimes it is very HARD!
- Don't be afraid to try the different positions. When Anna was first born she was so little we had to do the football hold (her feet down by my side and holding her head in my hand to get her there) as she got bigger that one didn't work so good so we had to go to the cradle hold (holding her across your stomach).
- Pumping is even harder than nursing (or at least it was for me.) I never could figure it all out. Definitely talk to someone if you are going to need to pump!
- RELAX!!! If you aren't relaxed you won't have a let down which will lead to a crying baby. I had this problem a few times and as soon as I could make myself relax it was all better.
- Resign yourself to sleeping in a bra for a while. Otherwise you will have milk everywhere!
- Be sure to get a nursing bra. Typically you will need a size larger than you have while you are pregnant. However, don't run out and buy 3 bras in that size buy 1 just in case, you might need one larger or smaller.
- You don't need special pajamas or clothes really. You can get a night gown with buttons or if you wear pajamas you can either get one with a top with buttons or just pull it up and over.
- You should not get blisters. If you are getting blisters the latch is wrong. See someone for help.
- Buy stock in nursing pads. Don't forget to take them with you to the hospital. The minute your milk comes in you will start leaking.
- Enjoy each and every moment of this special bonding. It doesn't matter if you do it for 6 weeks or 2 years it is an incredible bonding experience.
- If or when you get engorged get a hot shower. It will do you wonders! If you are engorged enough you can even watch the milk shoot out.
- You can use cabbage leaves to help engorgement as well but be careful because it will effect your supply if you use them to long.
- To help boost your supply you can eat almonds and drink tons of water. There are also some things you can find at the health food stores to help like Fenugreek.
- When they start getting teeth you will probably need to adjust the latch.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. If you don't want to talk to someone you know or don't know anyone to ask go to Kellymom.com
Reasons to breastfeed
- You always have milk! No carting stuff around with you.
- You don't have to make bottles in the middle of the night or any other time.
- You don't have to wash bottles!
- It is the healthiest food for your baby.
- It does create an amazing bond.
- My husband's favorite: It is FREE!!!
- Maybe this one is my husband's favorite: You get a nice pair of girls!
- You can soothe your baby at the drop of a hat or a lift of a shirt. ;)
- It is great when they are sick. It keeps them hydrated much better than anything else.
- They tend to have fewer ear infections and colds, generally speaking. I know there are tons of bottle babies that don't have many either but as a whole this is true.
The Down side
- You are the only one that can do it.
- You might not be comfortable doing it in public at first. I use to sit in the car to do it or if I was shopping go to a dressing room. Anna was to nosey so she would constantly pop off and I didn't want to show my goods to the world.
- You have to sleep in a bra lol.
I am not telling you to breastfeed or you are a horrible mother. I think it is a personal preference. It was much easier to me than bottles. I tell people all the time I took the lazy way out lol. I did occasionally supplement even after we brought her home but typically she would do that projectile spit up thing so I stopped doing that. Nursing worked for us and I hope to have the chance to do it again.
Incidentally, if you don't want to nurse you can use cabbage leaves in your bra to help dry yourself up.
What works for you? If you want more great tips go HERE!