3 Tips For Breastfeeding Success
There are so many benefits to breastfeeding -- for both baby and mother.
Breast milk provides all the nutrients baby needs, and is packed with antibodies, which reduce instances of childhood allergies and illnesses.
For mom, research shows there is a link between breastfeeding and lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers, and osteoporosis.
These and more are reasons why mothers choose to nurse their little ones.
Are you expecting a baby and planning to breastfeed? Try these 3 tips to increase your likelihood of breastfeeding success.
1. Gather Information
Before baby arrives, it's helpful to gather as much information on breastfeeding as possible. While there are many mothers and babies who have no trouble at all getting started, for others there is a learning curve to overcome. It helps to be aware of the challenges that can occur, and to know what to do in face of those challenges.
Knowing the benefits breastfeeding brings to mother and child is also a plus. It can reassure you of your decision to nurse your baby and increase your confidence. Knowledge is power. Some ways to get informed:
• Talk to other mothers.
• Read breastfeeding books.
• Watch breastfeeding videos.
• Take breastfeeding classes.
2. Create a Support Team
Surround yourself with those who are supportive of your decision to breastfeed. When beginning to breastfeed, there can be a period of time where it's difficult for mother and child, as both have to learn what to do. You want to have individuals you can talk to about what you're going through and who can offer encouragement along the way. You don't need any naysayers or negativity amplifying what's already a sensitive and possibly stressful time following childbirth.
In addition to family and friends, someone else to consider adding to your breastfeeding circle may include a lactation consultant. Lactation consultants are health care professionals who specialize in helping mothers to nurse their babies. They can provide answers to questions surrounding breastfeeding and help with nursing challenges. They can also provide a listening ear when moms need someone to hear them out and validate their feelings.
Another place to look for supporters are your local mom groups and discussion boards and forums online.
3. Be Kind to Yourself
Some days may be tougher than others. You will be working through sleep deprivation, learning a new skill, and transitioning into a new family dynamic. You may find yourself frustrated if things are not going as you hoped. Remind yourself you are doing the best you can. You're not a failure -- no matter the outcome of your breastfeeding experience. All you can do is your best, and some things -- like medical complications -- are out of your control.
Remember also to enjoy your sweet baby every chance you get! There's more to your days together than the feedings. The journey is full of beautiful details, no matter how small or mundane the events. Hold, rock, smile, hug and talk to your little one. Cherish your time together. Those first few months will fly by.
There's a lot to learn and consider when it comes to nursing your baby. Keep these 3 tips in mind. Learning what you can, creating a circle of support, and being kind to yourself are ways to increase your chance of having a positive experience.
Jeanna D. Rutledge is a wife, a mother to an infant son, and a freelance writer and blogger