This is my second time breastfeeding and one thing I know is that it isn’t easy. Oftentimes, new moms need encouragement, and even more so when breastfeeding. We wonder (or we are asked) whether are babies are getting enough milk. Our nipples get sore and cracked making us wonder if it’s all worth it. And then, we are subjected to unsolicited advice and comments. As a mom who has gone through these things, I know how far some encouragement can go when it comes to breastfeeding. I’m sharing Breastfeeding Tips to Encourage Breastfeeding Moms.
Related: Black Breastfeeding Week: 8 Black Moms Share Their Breastfeeding Stories
1. You are enough!
Your body produces what YOUR baby needs. Although it is hard to not compare your milk supply to other moms, don’t.
2. Your Baby. Your Breast. Your Journey.
Your breastfeeding journey is something special shared between your baby and you. Of course, outsiders will have their opinions on how long, how often, and how much you breastfeed. What you do on your breastfeeding journey is completely up to you and your baby. Block out the noise and negative opinions. Feed your baby!
3. Discomfort is Temporary But Worth It
The first few weeks or months of breastfeeding can be tough. Our babies are trying to latch properly, making our nipples become cracked and sore. Breasts become engorged until our bodies regulate our milk supply. But this doesn’t go on forever. Once your baby has adjusted and learned how to get a good latch, it all becomes so easy, so, easy, and is incredibly rewarding.
Related: Tips to Reduce Discomfort Experienced During Breastfeeding
4. Yes, Your Baby is Hungry Again
Read breastfeeding tip #1. YOU ARE ENOUGH! Breastfed babies do this crazy thing called Cluster Feeding. It makes breastfeeding moms like us think our babies aren’t getting enough milk when they are. I noticed during growth spurts my daughters would cluster feed the most. As annoying as it was, and as crazy as it made me (lost sleep) I powered through it. Their many soiled diapers meant they were getting enough.
5. Find Support in a “Breastfriend”
Connect with other breastfeeding women. advice from people who are going through what you’re going through is the best advice you can get versus listening to someone who has never breastfed ever! Having a shared experience can make a HUGE difference in your journey.
6. It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Remember that both you and your baby are new to this even if you’ve previously breastfed. No baby is the same. If you need help with latching techniques, a comfortable nursing position, or just overall breastfeeding advice, seek out a lactation consultant.
7. Feed the Baby Not the Freezer
You don’t need a breastmilk stash. This is something I wish I knew the first time I breastfed. I got caught up in building a stash, which stressed me out and led to an oversupply. I realized the latter when I began my current breastfeeding journey. So before you start pumping your way to a freezer stash, it is important to keep in mind your reason for pumping. Also, you should have an idea of what you will be doing with the milk once it’s accumulated.
Related: Breastfeeding Tips: Know the Basics of Pumping Breast Milk
8. Cry, Scream, and Laugh…
Pregnancy is already an emotional and physical journey, and then you’ve added breastfeeding onto it. Both have and will test you in ways you haven’t imagine and can’t imagine. However, it is rewarding knowing you, your body is nourishing your baby. You are doing something for your baby that no one else can. When the times get tough it is okay to cry and scream, and have that glass of wine. And when you accidentally squirt milk across the room or on your baby, laugh.
9. Enjoy These Moments
I breastfed my first daughter until I was like, “Enough!” In time, that was for two and a half years. When it was all over, I did miss it. Breastfeeding was our special bonding time in the morning before I left work, in the evenings when I returned from work, and when I put her to bed. I say this to say that you will miss it once it is over. only you and baby can bond in this way.