Breastfeeding Secrets I Wish I Knew
Breastfeeding is a sensitive topic, especially for mamas that wanted to but for whatever reason couldn’t or didn’t feel like it was the best option for her personally, and felt shame because of her decision. I want to stress that this a judgement FREE zone. On our site we want to educate and help in all of the ways that we can. This post just so happens to be on tips for the nursing mamas!
Breastfeeding doesn’t always come as easy as you would think it should. It is definitely a learned skill. They tell you when you’re pregnant that it’s difficult, that it hurts, that it doesn’t necessarily come easy, all that good stuff. But it’s one thing to understand the idea of something being difficult, or painful, or physically and emotionally draining, and another thing to actually experience it.
While reading a post like this still won’t shed the perfect amount of light on what being a new breastfeeding mama will be like or feel like (especially since every mama and every baby is different), it will at the very least share what I wish my pre-baby self knew about breastfeeding.
Secret #1: It Is A Learning Process
When your little one is trying to latch (especially as a newborn), it might be tough to get them to latch right? In fact, you might not even know what a “good” latch is. You and the baby are learning…so be patient. Breastfeeding isn’t “instinctual” to everyone – or even to most. Ask around for help. You will eventually figure out what works best for the both of you. The main thing you want to focus on is that the baby is putting as much of your breast in their mouth as possible. If they are latched to just the nipple, it will be super painful!
Secret #2: Knowing How To Pump And Using The Right Pump Is Key
It is very important to avoid pumping too early because it can create an oversupply! An oversupply could sound amazing but it’s actually really bad for you and your baby. Click here to learn more.
The reality is that there is a lot to pumping. You have to know how often to pump, how long, etc. If you’re pumping because you’re going to work you also need to know how to fit it into your work schedule, how to wash your pump parts daily, how to store your milk, etc. You will also want to make sure that you have the right pump for you!
Secret #3 Even With A Good Latch, You Might Still Bleed And Crack
This may not mean you’re doing anything wrong. It could mean that you’re both still learning how to breastfeed and your body is getting used to it. Seek advice if you’re unsure, but if you really want to nurse, try not to let this stop you.
Secret #4: Beware Of Engorgement
Engorgement can be described as having two boulders hanging from your chest and hurt like hell. It is normal at first to feel a little engorged but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Keep your breasts “emptied” regularly and it shouldn’t happen at all. If you start to feel the chills or develop a fever with no other symptoms, go to your doctor right away!
Secret #5: Low Supply Isn’t Always “Low Supply”
The only reliable indicator that baby isn’t getting enough milk is weight gain and wet/dirty diapers. Not how much you are able to pump out, not how often baby feeds, not by how full your breasts feel, not by how much baby is crying or how hungry baby “seems,” not by how big or small your breasts are, not by how much you’re leaking or not leaking, not by any of those things.
If you are committed to breastfeeding but still think you may be having issues with low supply, don’t feel like you have to jump into using formula. Talk to your doctor to make sure that the baby is getting enough nutrients and that it is still in the best interest of you and you little.
Breastfeeding can truly be an amazing experience. You just have to decide if it is right for you and your situation. There is not a right or wrong, it is not black nor white. It doesn’t matter what anyone has to say about your decision because it is YOURS. However if you have chosen to breastfeed I hope that this sheds a little light on what you are in for. Goodluck Mamas!