I have breastfeed both of my daughters til 12 months or more. This isn’t a post about why breast milk is better than formula, I don’t have to make that argument. Even formula companies agree breast milk is better than canned sugar.
But the experience of being a breastfeeding woman isn’t always a good one. The community is not very supportive at times, so here is my two cents to staying sane when trying to fulfil the most basic need a baby has, and that is to eat!
1. Have support – even if you have no one locally, you can find help online. I asked many times for some online advice when I wasn’t sure what was going on in my milk factory. I also learnt that there is local and national help out there. So do some research, you might be surprised and find out you do have local support!
2. Remember its about feeding your baby – there will be a lot of negative nancies out there. Don’t let a stray comment from an ignorant person ruin any time you are feeding your baby. Its important that every child eats, so who really cares how children eat, just so long as they eat. Right?
3. Do what makes you comfortable – if you are not comfortable doing something, then don’t do it.
4. Know your rights – I know in the united states a woman has the right to feed in public. I personally follow the idea of “if its not a place I would eat or drink at, then its not a place my baby will eat or drink at”. I don’t eat or drink in a bathroom, so neither will my child.
5. Don’t get focused on pumped milk ! I know in one of my breastfeeding groups a woman would post daily pics of her milk supply. Its great she could do that! However, some chicks were getting upset thinking that they were starving their kids because they couldn’t get that much. Every woman is different. When I could pump I did get different amounts based on if my baby nursed or not before the pump session. It eventually got to the point I couldn’t get anything out with a pump but my baby could nurse. So relax.
6. Your diet is very important – eat and drink with healthy choices. The quality of food you put into your mouth does matter! It will be a long and tiring time 24/7. So don’t feel ashamed about having a glass of water, some fruit, or whatever snack you might enjoy by your feeding area. It saved me a lot of time! I hated having to go downstairs to get something to drink in the middle of the night so I started keeping a case of water up in my bedroom for easy access. So keep plenty of foods and fluids in you.
7. Ask questions to your Dr and your kids doctor – don’t be ashamed to seek advice from a doctor. Its what you pay for and they are their to help.
I am happy to say I breastfeed both of my girls to at least a year. Livy was forced to ween when it started contractions while I was pregnant with Abby. So Livy stopped nursing completely at roughly 16 / 17 months. Abby just turned 1 year old and she’s nursing still. I plan to let her self ween, and if she doesn’t by a year and half then I will gradually reduce feedings so she is weened by 2.
This is just my personal goal on numbers. Make your own goals with your doctors!
Good luck if you plan on breastfeeding and if you have, did I miss any tips that were important to you????