Tips to Become The Ultimate Dairy Queen
When it comes to breastfeeding, I’m a “been there done that” kind of mama. My first baby had hip dysplasia and cried non-stop for the first year of her life, this did not make learning how to breastfeed any easier. My second baby was sensitive to dairy products when I ate them, so-long ice cream. And my third child was, well, a third child. Any time I would go to nurse him he had two other siblings trying to share the same lap.
And yet I nursed all three of them until they were over a year old. It’s been precious, it’s been hard, but it’s been so worth it.
I’m certainly no expert or doctor (even medical TV shows gross me out) but here are my top 10 breast-feeding tips from a mama who has “been there done that.”
1) Buy a book about breastfeeding
There is a lot of information on the internet about breastfeeding but having a book that you can hold in your hands is incredibly helpful, especially when you’re struggling to find a position that works and can’t get to a computer. Read the book before your baby comes and then take it to the hospital.
2) Get it right in the hospital.
If you’re having trouble, now is the time to speak up when nurses and doctors are in abundance. More and more hospitals are offering Lactation Consultants as part of their patient care plans.
3) If you’re having trouble getting it right at home, call someone.
Your mother, a friend, your doctor, a nurse start calling everyone you can. Chances are one of these people will have something that helps both you and your baby. Some cities even have community health nurses that will come to your house and help you. With my first I called my mother asking for help, I had too much milk. She suggested instead of nursing on each side every feeding I only nursed on one side each feeding, that one phone call made all the difference.
4) Breast-feed first then supplement.
First of all don’t supplement with formula unless you have strict doctor’s orders. But if you are in a situation where you need to supplement your infant until your milk supply increases always breast feed first, on each breast, then give your baby a bottle.
5) Eliminate high-allergenic foods if your baby develops colic.
My second baby would scream in pain if I so much as looked at a glass of milk. Once I completely eliminated dairy from my diet we had no problems. Other high allergenic foods include, wheat, eggs, and nuts.
6) If you plan to nurse in public practice with a blanket at home.
Your sweet little infant will not be suddenly okay with nursing with a blanket or nursing cover over their head when you’re out in public, trust me. They’ll pull it off and scream, and if you’re not wearing the right type of clothing where you’ll be able to discreetly nurse, you’ll wind up in the bathroom (yuck!).
7) Wear the right type of clothing.
Dresses are out button up tops are in. Nursing bras or bras that can be moved out of the way are a must! Nursing tops are a great bonus.
8) Drink plenty of water.
Seriously keep drinking water until you feel like you’re going to float away!
9) If you can’t nurse your baby for whatever reason, know you are not a failure.
Yes, “breast is best” but it can’t and doesn’t always happen. It’s okay! You are not a bad mother and your child’s IQ will not suddenly drop 15 points and they will not suddenly develop chronic ear infections. Reach out and get help before throwing in the towel, but not being able to breastfeed happens to even the most well intentioned mothers. Even if you just choose not to breast-feed, it’s YOUR choice and you needn’t feel guilty about it.
10) Enjoy every minute of it.
You won’t know the last time you nurse your little one until after it happens. I just weaned my littlest at 17 months old. I cut back our day nursings, stopped night nursing, then stopped day nursing entirely. There have been a handful of times where he was desperate to nurse after we “stopped” and I’ve obliged him with a few moments at my breast. It’s been a few weeks since the last time I cuddled him while he nursed, and this precious time in both of our lives is over. If you nurse your baby treasure it, truly treasure it.
What is your best breast-feeding advice?
You can find KM Logan at her blog where she writes about living a strengthened life. She is also author of several Amazon bestsellers including Devotions For the First Few Days a special devotional for mothers who have just had a baby. (Available in print and Kindle editions).