The decision to breastfeed stems from the fact that I want to give my daughter the best that could. And since science do not lie that breast milk is the best that a mom could offer her child, I was determined to do it. As a child, I wasn't breastfed and that's okay, really. My mom is not as lucky as I am to have access to information, helpful moms who share their experiences with me, and a tight support group. I didn't want to waste all those things I have access to to give the best I could for my child. And I think my mom would approve on this.
But still the journey is not paved smoothly. I was doubtful with my capacity to breastfeed. I didn't know if I could even make milk. I had tons of questions that needed to be answered. The truth was, I was scared...
I didn't realize how many false breastfeeding knowledge are out there and we easily believed them just because fear overcame us first. I thought how easily a lot of women must have given up just because somebody fed them wrong information about breastfeeding. And I don't want that to happen to you!
So I'm sharing my own experience, with hope that it'll guide you even just a little to take the journey of breastfeeding your child now or in the future. :)
Knowledge is Power
Whether you attend a breastfeeding class, do online research or read a breastfeeding book, knowing the preliminaries in breastfeeding is the key to a successful breastfeeding journey. Use these information to your advantage!
Aside from reading online posts and books about breastfeeding, attending the L.A.T.C.H. Basic Breastfeeding Class at The Medical City was probably one of the best decisions we made. Knowing what to expect, the truth about breastfeeding and how to survive the first few weeks of feeding your baby exclusively with breast milk made my life so much easier. Hearing stories of successful breastfeeding moms also made me hopeful that I would be like them soon. The positive vibe of the class was so infectious that the husband and I were so happy to have decided to breastfeed our baby. It readies the fathers as well to what the mommies will go through and know how to support them when time comes.
I was able to deal with engorgement properly by watching Youtube Tutorials. There was a time that my engorgement won't subside even if I have pumped my milk out already and did a hot compress. Apparently, I could do a cold compress to reduce the swelling and it was a great help! The swell subsided and so did the pain. And all this because researched first before panicking or giving in to the pain.
With continuous research even after pregnancy, I learned more. I learned about increasing milk supply through power pumping and also relactation in case I have to stop breastfeeding. And it doesn't end there.
Breastfeeding takes a lot of patience.... at the beginning!
When I started to breastfeed, there were a lot of hardships. Sore nipples, engorgement, painful breasts, low milk supply, improper latching, etc. But being prepared helped with gaining patience during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. I knew what would happen so I was ready for them. I was ready to be patient with what ever difficulties I was about to face. When equipped with the knowledge of what to expect and how to deal with it, patience comes so easily. After a while, my daughter and I got into the habit of normal breastfeeding.
One of my worries were sore and cracked nipples. Boy was I so scared of this! But my breastfeeding coach was right, the only reason you'll get this is through incorrect latch. So don't give up on teaching your child how to properly take in your milk.
Latching properly is truly the key to a painless breastfeeding.
Claud had trouble latching at the beginning. She was used to cupping at the hospital that she would pinch my areolas and nipples that it got easily painful during the first week. I would have to pump my milk and feed it by cupping. But I put my foot down and told myself to not give up. I stopped cupping and I waded through the pain. In no time, Claud was latching on properly and getting my milk without pain at all. She probably realized that she wasn't getting enough milk with her method that she gave in to my way and finally opened up her tiny little mouth to receive more milk.
There is still soreness in between, but nothing that I couldn't handle. Besides, our breasts heal incredibly fast! I thought I would have to suffer with days of soreness, but just a night of sleep healed my sore nipples.
You really don't need lactation aids... But it could help
We have to remember that our ancestors didn't have Natalac or Prolacta. But they managed to feed their children, they managed to survive. If they didn't, we wouldn't be here, right? Even animals don't rely on lactation aids. All they had was the singular thought that they have to produce milk or else their children won't have anything to eat.
With that thought, I think I provide just enough for the needs of my child. I admit to taking these supplements and eating my delicious lactation cookies from Mom's Basket. It helps boost my confidence and help me take in better nutirents. Your breasts will do everything to give your child the milk he or she needs. These are merely helping hands so don't rely in them to help you produce milk.
Frequent latching is still the best way for our breast to produce milk. The more our child feed, the more milk our breasts will produce. It is still about supply and demand. :)
You really need to surround yourself with supportive people
From the husband, to family and friends, I was given all the support that I needed to keep on breastfeeding. I avoided people who thought they know better about breastfeeding, stopped listening to those who think formula milk is best and people who feel that breastfeeding is just for a few months. Just remove all the negative vibes that hinder you from breastfeeding your child.
I also joined groups of breastfeeding moms and kept in touch with mom bloggers who are breastfeeding advocates. Having them and my family and friends kept my spirit high during my first few weeks of nursing.
It also helped that I didn't have bottles and formula milk around me
You really will lose weight! Yey!
This really is no joke. I was around 140 pounds when I gave birth. Now, almost two months passed I am at 127 pounds! Two pounds shy from my pre-pregancy weight! And that's not because I lacked sleep. I actually sleep more now that when I used to work. I also eat whatever I want! :)
I love how breastfeeding also benefits my baby but me as well. :)
Breastfeeding is a miracle happening everyday!
And when you see your child gaining weight, getting strong, moving faster, your heart will burst with pride! Looking at Claud, I still can't believe how fast her development already is and I'm her only source of nutrients! Such a miracle!
So keep your spirits high. Don't give up... try it first and try harder. Like with everything else, breastfeeding requires determination and dedication for it to be a success. You are after all doing this for the your child, the love of your life. :)
I also think that the overall positive approach to breastfeeding is an important factor. Make breastfeeding a happy experience for you and in turn, it will be a happy experience for your child.
I'm glad I took this journey and I'm glad I can call myself a breastfeeding mother. Yes, do consider me addicted to breastfeeding my baby Claud.