Being a mother definitely marks a new chapter in a woman’s life no matter how many times she may find herself with child. And for me, this time around has been very different because it is my first time breastfeeding.
I have been exclusively breastfeeding our baby girl Lauren for the past 10 months and have been wanting to give other first time nursing mothers a “head’s up”. So keep in mind that this is just information on how to get started. If you would like me to share more things on breastfeeding like how I pump or increase (and decrease!) my milk supply, my nursing diet etc. then just let me know and I’ll make additional parts to this post. But in the meantime let’s get started!
Now the first thing that I would recommend for those of you who are new to breastfeeding is Google. Yes, do your research and get familiar with breasts.
I read COUNTLESS books and articles while I was pregnant. I even watched (way too many!) youtube videos. Some of them were of animals! Now of course you don’t have to be that extreme but I would definitely encourage you to research the process and to examine yourself. The more comfortable (and knowledgeable) you are with your breasts the easier it will be learning how to breastfeed, especially from other people.
And speaking of other people,
Read blogs and talk to other women with experience.
Don’t get me wrong, “professional” opinions are okay but you want to get advice from people who are actually experiencing (or have experienced) what you will be. No shade but I prefer someone who could offer me a little more than book reports and word of mouth. But to each her own. If you are the type to get peace of mind from consulting with professionals, just make sure you’re getting help from EXPERIENCED doctors or nurses who are (or at least want to be!) mothers. And if you have friends or family members who have breastfed then that’s even better. I didn’t have anyone so I asked to have a lactation consultant come and talk to me during our stay at the hospital. She was very helpful. She helped me get through the first couple of days because the nurses were making my experience VERY stressful. Which leads me into the next tip..
Relax and get to know your OWN baby. Always remember that everything isn’t for everybody.
Like I mentioned before, researching is a good thing but setting laws and standards isn’t. Allow yourself time to grow. Especially at the hospital. Your baby is not only new to breastfeeding but to BREATHING in general. Be patient and gentle. Don’t let anyone, not even the doctors ruin your experience. For what it’s worth, a lot of the videos I watched on latching were useless. At least for me and my baby. And that’s the thing, you’ll learn what works best for you and your baby. Each and every family is different so don’t take everything to heart.
And speaking of the heart, Guard it!
We live in a very perverted generation where women think there’s strength in being masculine. Embrace your true femininity. There is nothing more beautiful than a submissive wife and selfless mother. You have to be encouraged because the majority of women will have that “I don’t know how you do it” attitude. Especially selfish mothers or women without children! Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Even if that means telling your husband that you don’t want any visitors until you guys figure some things out.
Get a manual breast pump
This will be your best friend. Especially if you have a fast let down or an over supply of milk like I did. Trust me, get one while you’re pregnant and bring it to the hospital with you. And while you’re at it, grab a few nipple shields too!
Don’t buy into the hype
Now I have to throw this out there because there is nothing wrong with formula feeding! I didn’t breastfeed any of my older children and you wouldn’t know the difference (as far as development goes). Going forward my husband and I just decided to breastfeed because it’s natural and I am embracing godly femininity. Yes, I know that the food industry isn’t trust worthy but what I’m saying is, is just feed the baby. Don’t let pride and/or idolatry creep up in it.
And last but not least, don’t give up! Just pray.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the things I learned in the beginning were not even applicable until I was about 3 or 4 months in. That’s why we’re repeatedly told not to give up. Especially not within the first 3 months. It really does get easier. I wanted to give up SO many times. So ultimately, my advice to you would be not to give up when it gets tough, just PRAY! That is what has helped me the most. At the end of the day, no one can help you more with this than God. And not only because He’s GOD but because breastfeeding was all His idea!! He strategically designed our bodies to give (and to receive) His provision. So ask Him to help you and your baby do all that He had originally intended.
So yeah, I hope that this post helps! And I would love to hear all about your breastfeeding experiences or aspirations!