Breastfeeding – 5 Things You Need To Know Before You Have Your Baby
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I am going to start this by stating that fed is best. Period. The point of this article is not to interfere into any mom’s decision on how to feed her baby or to put pressure into breastfeeding upon expecting moms.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you probably should be prepared for some breastfeeding details that nobody tells you. At least I would’ve loved it if I had someone tell me all this stuff before I was home all alone and engorged with a hungry crying baby.
Breastfeeding is probably one of the best ways to help kick start your baby’s immune system, but that is not the subject here. I just want to prepare you for all the troubles you might get into. These are all the things I wish somebody told me before I had my baby.
1. Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
Birth is also natural occurrence, but hurts like hell. Breastfeeding can be really painful at times. The first feeding sessions are helping your uterus shrink to it’s original size, and let me tell you, it is not comfortable. Teaching your baby and yourself to achieve a good latch might leave you cringing your teeth, trying not to scream and scare your poor baby. Plugged ducts, mastitis and blisters are all things I had to learn the hard way because…
2. Most pediatricians (and medical professionals in general) have no breastfeeding support training.
The go to answer seemed to be “buy nipple shields”. And let me tell you, nipple shields don’t solve many (or any) problems. I was lucky to find support in a Facebook group run by a lactation consultant. So if your gut tells you there is something off, you better hire a lactation consultant instead of just going to a pediatrician who doesn’t have a friendly approach to breastfeeding. Breastfeeding, if done the proper way, should not hurt and there is probably a reason for the pain that can be easily corrected.
3. Babies feed a lot at the beginning.
Well some of they do. Take my daughter for example, she would sometimes feed and nod off and feed again for like two hours. I could watch a whole movie uninterrupted. I even Kept Up With The Kardashians while she was a newborn, and I don’t even care about the Kardashians. It’s just nature’s way of saying “Here, take five” between the agonies of a pregnancy and running 24/7 after a toddler learning to walk. And you will be utterly grateful for this. You really need the rest and the peace of this stage.
4. Breastfeeding works on a demand and supply system.
This means the more your baby feeds – the more milk comes in. This information was a life saver for me. Again, it’s nature’s way of taking care for your newborn. With each bottle you give, you lose the chance to produce more milk for your baby. Your body doesn’t get the signal that your baby needs more and it does not produce. However, if you are worried about the amounts your baby is getting, or you are worried your baby is not getting enough, you should always consult with your pediatrician.
5. Breastfeeding is “handy” and practical (and also cheap).
Whenever your baby needs to eat – food is ready! Wherever you go, your baby has the perfect meal served in a matter of seconds. You don’t have to worry about sterilizing bottles. You don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to prepare formula. And let me tell you one more secret, co-sleeping (safely) with your baby will get you the most sleep as a new mom. I didn’t do it until my daughter was around 2 months old, but considering the fact I breastfed for 2 years, I really can’t complain about getting up so many times during the night. Your baby will feed through colds, teething, growth spurts, and you will be grateful that you have the means to ease the process. Your baby will also nurse for comfort and as a way to soothe themselves, and that is completely normal. No, your baby is not using you as a pacifier (no matter what aunt Susan is telling you).
You don’t need all the fancy “gear for breastfeeding”. You probably should get a nursing pillow like this one here or even a fancy one like this to hold your bottle of water if your baby is nursing in longer sessions.
There are some other stuff that you might need, but given the right circumstances, breastfeeding is “all natural”. Listed bellow are only the few products that I have actually used in my 2 years breastfeeding journey. I highly recommend you have these basic necessities before you get home with your baby. Trust me, you don’t want to be alone with a crying baby when you actually need them. In case you are totally clueless about breastfeeding, like I was, what you are seeing bellow are nipple cream and nipple shields that might come handy if your nipples are sore. Always have some nipple pads to prevent leaking especially in public, yeah that happens.. And a hidden gem nobody told me about, breast gel pads that are god send for engorgement or plugged ducts.
So if you are still expecting, and plan on breastfeeding your baby, I wish you all the best on your breastfeeding journey. And if you are a mom having trouble breastfeeding, remember there is usually a simple solution if you know where to ask.
My Quiet Spot
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