First things first... This post is about successfully feeding your little one. It is NOT meant discourage anyone who was not able to feed their little one successfully! <3
Be PREPARED!! Everyone has a different experience breastfeeding just like everyone has a different birthing experience because GUESS WHAT…we’re all different! If you want to read some unique birth stories from other Mamas, then check out my post here https://crunchyrn.com/index.php/2020/01/07/how-to-give-birth-what-every-first-time-mom-wants-to-know/
One of the best ways to learn how to do something is to talk to someone who has already done it. You can learn from their mistakes and also hear what worked for them. I can assure you that you will hear a wide variety of stories so hold onto these 2 truths-
- God created YOUR BODY to feed YOUR baby. It’s a beautiful thing!
- You will learn your own tricks, have your own experience, and make your own mistakes! Embrace the uniqueness of the bond between you and your baby!
Did you know that <1% of Mom/Baby pairs are medically unable to breastfeed? That’s a very small percentage. I say that to say… you’re going to hear MANY people tell you that they were unable to breastfeed for reasons of this or that. This is not anything against those people. I just want to encourage YOU to keep trying even when you hit obstacles! There can be many obstacles to breastfeeding, and some people encounter more than others. This means that breastfeeding might be extremely challenging for some Mamas, and it’s no ones place to judge them if they call it quits.
What does it mean to be prepared? Well, if you want to successfully feed your baby then you need to be prepared BEFORE birth!
Just like you’re prepared to put a diaper on your baby once it’s born, you also need to be prepared about how to feed your baby. Here are just a few easy but crucial TIPS!
- PILLOWS! These are a must. I absolutely loved my “Boppy Pillow” for nursing during the newborn stage, but any kind of pillow will do! Pillows are cheap so just go out and buy a lot of them! Make sure you have enough pillow cases to change them out frequently so that WHEN milk gets on them they won’t start to smell. Pillows help you get yourself and your baby into whatever comfortable position you want to be in!
- Get a good Breast Pump! Get one even if you’re not really planning on pumping regularly! Pumping will help your milk come in faster after birth. It also gives you a way to efficiently get colostrum (the first “milk” like substance in your breasts) to your little one if for some reason they are unable to latch onto your breast properly right away, or if they’re having trouble with their sucking reflex. A lot of premature babies (born before 37 weeks) have trouble with their latch and are not strong suckers. Most people can get a free breast pump through their insurance company so call and check into it!
- DRINK WATER! Just put some thought into this…. how do you think your body creates this wonderful LIQUID?! Enough said. The recommended amount of water for a “normal” individual is half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150lbs then you should be drinking 75 oz of water per day at the very LEAST! This is just the amount it takes for you to not be dehydrated. If you’re breastfeeding, you need to drink half of your body weight in ounces PLUS however many ounces of milk your baby is requiring! If you’re not pumping and therefore unsure of the exact number of ounces of milk your baby is getting, let me assure you that this is AT LEAST 24 ounces if your baby is eating every 3 hours in a 24 hour period. I know this is a lot of water, and honestly I struggle with this. I even carry around a 1/2 gallon water bottle just to keep track…. Just do the best you can! Have a specific (big) water cup you try to drink every time you sit down to breastfeed. This helps a lot of Mamas remember to drink their water!
- Get a good breastfeeding cover! When you’re out in public and your little one starts screaming his/her head off because all they want is to nurse… it’s very inconvenient if all you have to cover up your engorged breast with is a small, dirty spit up rag…. lol I just had to add those details in there so that you could get a good mental picture 😉 Keep in mind what season your baby will be born in. If it’s winter time, then the warmer and thicker the cover up is the better! If it’s summer time, try to find something light and breathable!
- Give yourself grace and figure out what works for YOU and your BABY! Like I said, you will get a lot of advice! Advice is great… BUT at the end of the day if you find some quirky trick that just seems to work perfectly for you and your baby then DO IT!!!
God created your body to feed your baby...
Most likely you will hear some negative comment about your anatomy while breastfeeding from a medical professional. “Your nipples are too flat, too big, or too small; Your supply is too low; Your milk is coming in too late; You’re drowning your baby with too much milk;” The list goes on and on unfortunately….
I’m here to tell you that God did not make a mistake! He created YOU and He created YOUR BABY. Your milk is the BEST nourishment for your baby.
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Use the link below to sign up and start ordering your supplies off of Thrive!