Breastfeeding 101: The Truth No One Tells You
From the moment I found out that I was going to be a mom, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I know how beneficial breastfeeding is for your baby and being that I am a nurse and have great immunity, I wanted to pass on all those beneficial antibodies to my baby.
I tried to do my research before our baby boy Landon was born, on the best ways and techniques for feeding a newborn. I read various articles and excerpts from my momma-to-be books, searched tons of Pinterest articles on breastfeeding, and even asked my mommy friends the scoop and what worked for them. I was determined.
However, to be honest, the way I really learned the best way to breastfeed my baby was by doing it.
I found it stressful to become good at breastfeeding in the hospital. It isn’t something you just learn overnight. It takes a lot of time and practice. Each nurse would come in and teach me a different technique and their way of doing things, which just ending up leaving me more confused than before. I was frustrated. The hardest part for me was getting the baby to latch. It wasn’t as easy as 1-2-3, like I thought it would be. It took a lot of patience, suffering through quite a bit of pain, and staying up long nights with baby.
I remember back to one specific night in the early weeks of breastfeeding. It was 2:30am and I came downstairs to feed the baby because my husband had work the next day. It took over an hour and a half of trying many different techniques to get him to latch. It just wasn’t working. The baby was very hungry, and I was exhausted. I was about to give up. Was there something wrong with me? Why couldn’t he latch on? Why can't I figure this out? I felt completely helpless. This is the common struggle of a new breastfeeding mom.
I had my precious son three months ago and have been successfully breastfeeding him since. I will say that it has been a journey. We have had some easy days, but many hard days in the beginning. One of the most truthful pieces of advice I received, was to give breastfeeding for two weeks.
The golden number of ‘two weeks’ was exactly the amount of time it truly took baby and I to get the hang of what we were doing, and what worked for each other. Being three months in now, I will say it was 100% worth it. Hang in there- it gets easier, I promise.
Thinking back from where I started to where I am now, I cannot help but feel a sense of accomplishment. It feels great to be able to provide for your baby and to be the one they turn to when they need sustenance. Having those little eyes stare back up and yours is priceless and makes your heart melt every time. No one said it was going to be easy but they did say it was going to be worth it.
Trust me, I know it can be frustrating. I know that feeling well. With all the hormones, emotions, and sleep deprivation it can be a really challenging time. But I encourage all you mommas-to-be out to stay hopeful and give it a try. What do you have to loose? All you have is something to gain. For those of you currently struggling, I ask you to hang in there for the ‘magical two’. It can get much easier after this point. You are doing amazing things for your baby and his/her health, and if it's not for you, you can walk away with no regrets.
In the next part of this series I will be talking about tips for successful breastfeeding and what items/products I recommend which helped me to get not only comfortable, but also good at it. Stay tuned!
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