Welcome new moms! You finally have your little bundle of joy and are excited for the journey ahead.
You probably already know all the great benefits that come with breastfeeding, but you're finding it more difficult, inconvenient, or even painful than you thought.
Sometimes new moms struggle with unexpected challenges such as sore nipples, cracked skin, or a fussy baby that won't latch properly. Don't worry, though, because you're not alone.
Breastfeeding can be daunting in those early weeks and months when you're struggling to get the hang of it, and your baby is constantly hungry.
It's perfectly normal for new moms to worry about when it will start to feel less like a full-time job and more like a natural part of their day.
Don't give up if it's difficult in the beginning - it will get easier over time. While every nursing journey is different, here are some general stages that all moms go through:
What to Expect When Breastfeeding
It's been six weeks since you gave birth, and you're starting to feel a little more like yourself. You've finally got your energy back.
Although your baby is still breastfeeding around the clock, you'll be handling that task with far more confidence.
By now your milk has come in, and your baby has got the hang of latching. You've also adjusted to a relatively regular schedule and can plan other activities around feedings.
Keep up the good work, momma! You're doing a great job.
At three months old, your baby has probably mastered breastfeeding basics. They know how to latch on, and they can feed for more extended periods.
This means that nursing is now likely to be much easier than in the beginning. You've determined the best feeding schedule and have mastered the diaper bag, changing station, and all the breastfeeding tools.
At six months, breastfeeding is still going strong for many nursing moms. But, as your baby gets older and becomes more interested in what's going on around them, there are new challenges to face.
It can be tough to breastfeed without interruption when your baby can be distracted by all this new and exciting stimulation.
You'll learn to minimize distractions to help you complete feeding with less interruptions.
Congratulations, You've made it to one year and now have an entire routine in the bag.
You have mastered and may wonder if or when you should stop breastfeeding, especially as you introduce more and more solid foods.
The answer to this question is different for every mom and child. While there are pros and cons at each stage, it is ultimately up to you to know what is best for you and your baby. In general, you can continue breastfeeding as long as you and your child enjoy it.
While there are challenges to overcome at each breastfeeding stage, there are many things you can do to make the learning process easier for you and your baby. Here are the top 10:
1. Get a good nursing bra that fits well
The ideal nursing bra can comfortably and securely hold your breasts while being easy for you to remove. It's important to choose the right size and style for optimal comfort and support.
Be sure to choose one that can accommodate your size and shape and ensure the straps are adequately adjustable.
2. Stock Up on Nursing Pads to Avoid Leaks
Leaking breast milk is a common issue for new moms. Nursing pads will help absorb the liquid and keep your clothes clean! Keep extras in your purse and diaper bag so that you can always be prepared.
3. Choose a Quiet Place to Breastfeed
Find a comfortable place to breastfeed your baby so you can enjoy the bonding experience with them. Try to minimize distractions, so your baby gets enough to eat on the first try.
4. Get Comfortable - Find a Breastfeeding Position That's Comfortable for Both You and Your Baby
Try a nursing pillow. A nursing pillow is a fabulous way to hold and support your baby while breastfeeding. As your child gets older, and heavier, make necessary adjustments to ensure comfort for both of you.
5. Drink Plenty of Fluids and Eat Healthy Foods to Keep Up Your Milk Supply
Maintain a good diet and drink plenty of fluids to ensure you have enough energy to produce adequate breastmilk.
6. Don't Stress About Perfection
Breastfeeding is as beautiful as it is individual, so don't stress if you're not doing it perfectly. Try to just relax and enjoy the quality time with your baby.
7. Relax and Enjoy This Special Time Together
You and your baby are in this together! The bond between you will grow stronger every day. Enjoy these special moments with each other because before you know it, they will be all grown up.
8. Ask for Help if You Need it – Everyone Knows Breastfeeding is Hard Sometimes
If you need help with breastfeeding, don't be embarrassed about asking for it. It's important to remember that as difficult and time-consuming this process might seem initially, there are so many benefits in store down the road!
9. Alternative Methods Are Available! (or) You Are Free to Choose Alternative Methods!
There may be situations where a mother may have a medical or emotional reasons that does not enable them to do direct breastfeeding. This is where alternative methods can come in such as pumping. We do recommend before deciding to do pumping or bottle feeding, consider reaching out to your communities or a lactation counselor for further advice.
Back to work or certain responsibilities that need you to use pumps? Everyone has different lives and needs so there is never a one size fit all. Always remember to learn the usage of pumps correctly as well as how to properly store your breast milk in bottles.
Whatever your reason may be, there can be a choice that fits what you need. Remember, you're a great mom and you're doing great so far!
This can let other family members help with feedings, let you leave your baby for longer times when needed, or even enjoy a night out.
You've Got This!
Mastering breastfeeding is not always easy, but it is a skill that can be learned and practiced to perfection.
It helps you develop a strong bond with your baby and provides your baby with important health benefits. It might take some time to perfect the technique, but the benefits are worth the effort.
Don't be afraid to learn and experiment to see what works best for you. With practice and a bit of patience, you'll get there!
Hegen Has All The Tools You Need to Breastfeed Your Baby Successfully.