Breastfeeding was something that was very important to me. Though I respect women who chose not to for whatever reason, for me and my family, breastfeeding was the answer. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I started reading anything and everything I could about pregnancy and raising a child. Especially looking for as much information I could about breastfeeding and what to expect since it was so important to me.
Get Help Early
There are a ton of resources out there, too many actually. It is very easy to get overwhelmed. Though there is a lot of valuable information out there but here is a lot of misleading and downright terrible advice as well. If breastfeeding is something you want to master, and don’t think for one second this isn’t a learned skill, establish it in the hospital. If you have a home birth, make sure you have a Douala, midwife or your doctor help you before they leave. The first few hours and days are crucial to establishing good breastfeeding techniques. The nurses at our hospital were amazing and really helped us. When we were sent home, we had access to public health nurses who specialized in lactation and breastfeeding which was another great resource. Ask and accept all the professional help you can in the early days!
The First Three Months
The first 10-12 weeks we’re anything but easy for me. It hurt, a lot, and was exhausting. Through help (in my case, nurses and a temporary shield) I was able to get through it. I remember my daughter going through a growth spurt around eight weeks and doing nothing but nursing for almost 36 hours. She literally nursed non-stop for three days. I was exhausted and wanted to cry, actually I did cry, multiple times. My husband was frustrated because he couldn’t help me with it and I was milliseconds away from telling him to go to the store and buy formula.
I’m so glad I persevered though. I stuck with it, through the pain and frustration and made it through those dreadful first three months. I know not everyone’s experience will be the same but most women I chat with, who have breastfed, agree that the first 10-12 weeks are the most difficult. So my advice is that if you can stick with it, nursing on demand as much as they want it gets easier after the first few weeks.
Get Over It
I got over nursing in public early on. I realized that if I was going to have any sort of life, breastfeeding in public was going to be apart of my life. I nursed while grocery shopping, at restaurants and in many other public places. I always chose to use a cover or nurse in my sling for my own modesty, but do whatever you feel comfortable with. In today’s age of Miley Cyrus public performances and barely there women’s clothing, breastfeeding should be a total non issue.
Even through the hard times, breastfeeding has been one of, if not my favorite part of being a mom. The closeness that we shared because of it was amazing. There is nothing like secluding yourself and your baby away to cuddle and nurse.
I chose to let my daughter self ween but do what works for you and your family. I’m fortunate being in Canada and getting a year maternity leave so it was easy for me to make it to the critical one year mark. She weened herself about five weeks later, just lost interest. Probably because she got use to being away from me at daycare and was slowly nursing less. I could tell she was ready.
Breastfeeding is an amazing experience, it can be very difficult but us women are equipped to do it, power though the tough times, it’s so worth it!
What tips and tricks did you use to get through breastfeeding?