It was a real challenge for me when I started breastfeeding Lucas. I have to admit that I did not equipped myself with the proper knowledge beforehand and therefore wasn’t ready when the day arrived.
It’s been close to 8 months now, and I’m still a happy nursing mum 🙂 Based on my personal experience, here goes my top 5 tips on successful breastfeeding:
(1) Don’t doubt yourself! Unfortunately, I was one of the many mothers who thought that I don’t have enough milk supply. The fact is – about 95% to 99% of mums make enough milk for their baby! (read this article – it described the myth of “not enough milk” perfectly) We are surrounded by people who constantly ‘brainwash’ us that we need to supplement our baby with formula because we don’t have enough milk. Even hospitals these days indirectly support the myth of low milk supply because they give free samples of formula (sponsored by the advertisers of course). I think this is the most important factor that contributes to successful breastfeeding. Start out with the right mindset, everything will work out smoothly.
(2) Have enough rest. The best advice for every breastfeeding mum is to sleep/nap whenever your baby sleeps. It’s true. The day that I find myself having lower supply is always due to lack of sleep or rest the day before. During the first 2-3 months, it’s important to establish your milk supply. So, get all the help you can in other chores and just concentrate on breastfeeding and resting. Once your body knows how much milk your baby needs, it will continue to produce that much for the rest of the journey.
(3) Feed or pump often. Breastfeed if you can, otherwise pump at regular intervals. The key here is the frequency, not the amount of time spent on feeding or pumping. Similar to the above, once you’ve establish your milk supply during the first few crucial months, you should be able to continue getting the same amount of milk later. A word of caution, if you skip a feed/pump consecutively for a few days, you need to know that your milk supply will decrease because your body is thinking that you do not need that feed anymore, therefore produce lesser.
(4) Feed on demand. As cumbersome or tiring as it may sound, if you want to breastfeed your baby successfully, be ready to feed like a cow (pardon the comparison). Especially in the first two months, breastfeed your baby on demand. Whenever he needs to eat or suckle, just feed him. It was really daunting at first. Lucas was literally feeding every other hour. I was feeding him until I was sore and because I was not well prepared, this further confused me into thinking that I don’t have enough milk to satisfy Lucas. The fact is that your baby is telling your body how much milk he needs, so that mummy can produce the right amount of milk for him. It’s all about supply and demand. Some school of thoughts advocate routine feeding which I don’t agree. It’s more for the convenience of parents and it just doesn’t feel natural for me.
(5) Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Replenish yourself after every feed. That’s what I do. Each time I finish feeding or pumping, I will make sure I have a glass of water. This way I know that I’m constantly hydrated. Do not start dieting so soon, eat healthy balanced meal. We burn approx. 500 calories everyday by breastfeeding, so we need extra intake compared to pre-pregnancy days. I feel hungry all the time, and tummy growling in the middle of the night has become a norm for me. I’m enjoying my breastfeeding days, because I can eat all I want and yet don’t put on weight. *yay*
Blog Source: I am A Mommy!