My Breastfeeding Story - A Wonderful Journey
I am going to share how I prepared for this journey and what has helped me to keep going.
1. Breastfeeding 101
Just like how you’d research and read up on a travel destination before embarking on a vacation, the same goes for breastfeeding. Get as much information as you can from books, parenting sites, family and friends who have experience in breastfeeding. In my first month of breastfeeding, I hit the books and reading materials again to see if my baby was latching on correctly, to know when my milk should start to turn white, how to relieve engorgements and treat cracked nipples and to be sure that my baby was getting enough milk.
2. Think Positive
The moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I had already psyched myself up to breastfeed him. Before you go on a trip, don’t you envision yourself enjoying the holiday? This is what I kept telling myself throughout my pregnancy:
“I am going to breastfeed my baby. He is not going to drink anything except my milk. And I am going to have enough for him.”
A major motivation factor for me was also the successful breastfeeding stories of friends which drove me to believe that if they can do it, I can definitely do it too.
3. Set Goals
Before you visit a place for the first time, you would have an idea of what you’d like to do and the sights you’d like to see. Well, just like breastfeeding, especially when it’s a first time, you’d like to set yourself some goals. Setting goals will motivate you and give you a sense of achievement once you’ve accomplished them. For me it was the breastfeeding guideline on how long you should breastfeed your baby – exclusively for the first 6 months until age 2. Well, I stuck to the guideline too rigidly and weaned my son exactly at age 2. Partly also because I was already pregnant with my daughter at that time and I thought it would be challenging to handle 2 clingy kids. On top of that, I had no idea what tandem nursing was and did not consider doing that at all. I might have gone on to tandem nurse both my children if I had to do it all over again...maybe.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I know of a friend who had mastitis at least 3 times during the course of breastfeeding her first child. I don’t know how she did it but she persevered and successfully breastfed her son till he was close to 2. Now that’s what I call perseverance. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it all if I were in her shoes but I certainly look up to her as a perfect example of endurance.
5. Nix the Naysayers
“Your baby’s not getting enough milk that’s why he’s constantly crying”
“You should probably give him a little formula milk so he’ll sleep better in the night”
“Are you sure you’ve got enough milk for your baby, how come nothing much’s coming out when you pump?”
“It’s okay to give the baby a little water, most mothers do that. Takes away the heatiness”
“Asking for milk again? See, your baby’s not getting enough. He’s hungry again”
These are just some of the things that were said to me in the first month of breastfeeding my first child. It was difficult and discouraging to hear things like these, especially when you’re a new mother trying your darned best to cope with a new baby. But, back to No.4, don’t let them get you down. I remembered checking on the books to see how I can tell if my baby was getting enough milk and that was to see how often he is wetting his diapers. So, I reassured myself and nixed the naysayers.
These 5 points have worked for me especially when I was a first-time breastfeeding mom. When I had my second child, breastfeeding was a breeze. She was a pro in latching-on and I hardly had any difficulties breastfeeding her, except for maybe 2 occasions of a slightly engorged breast. The thing about an engorged breast is that the only way I’ve found effective enough to relieve that is your own baby nursing on it. The tip is to try different positions of nursing your baby while massaging your breast. No amount of cabbage or hot compresses can beat that.
I’d like to add though, that you shouldn’t give yourself a hard time if you haven’t been able to breastfeed your baby. Circumstances are different for everyone and no two breasts are the same – not even on a single person. Take comfort in knowing that you’ve tried your best and that you’ve given it all you could. At the end of the day, all your baby needs is a lot of TLC.
I am fortunate enough to have had it easy with breastfeeding. I can’t thank God enough for that.
It has been a wonderful journey for me.
Germaine blogs at Kiddothings.com. You can read more about her wonderful Motherhood experience and Breastfeeding stories at her blog. Thank you Germaine, for sharing your wonderful and inspiring breastfeeding story especially those useful tips. I like tip No 5 on how to Nix those Naysayers. Pin It