You spend (roughly) 40 weeks feeding your baby from the outside in, as the baby absorbs the same nutrients you do. Once your baby is finally here, it becomes time to feed your baby from the inside, out—providing your baby with nutrients from your breast milk. Breastfeeding can be a frustrating task. Here are a few things to remember that should ease the stress of breastfeeding your baby.
Everyone is Different
Seeing others’ success while you struggle to make the process work can be incredibly disheartening. According toMama Bear Holistic Care, it’s important to remember thateveryone is different. Our bodies are different, our health is different, our circumstances are different, and the babies you birth are different too. Don’t—or at least try not to—compare yourself with those around you. Your experiences with breastfeeding do not determine your success as a mother! They simply are an experience for growth and development, mentally as well as physically.
It Isn’t Always Easy
Breastfeeding is a natural way of feeding your baby. However, that does not mean there is a guarantee that it will work perfectly. There are plenty of things that can get in the way of successful breastfeeding. According toStellar Kids Dentistry, lip or tongue restrictions can cause breastfeeding difficulties for your baby. These issues can often be helped by doctors. Frequent feeding will have a heavy impact on your body as well: your breasts may become raw or bleed, there may be a blocked duct, or your milk supply may be low. If this is the case, consider talking to your doctor about testing for things that may help you to increase your supply and heal however you need to.
Take Care of Yourself
If you are stressed about struggling, your body will react accordingly. Take care of yourself! Identify any issues in your breastfeeding process, and take the time to recover. Look into tools that can aid the process or decrease the stress of it. Nursing pillows, apps for tracking, a doctor on call, even medication for sore nipples all can help you feel more relaxed, more prepared, and more in control of your breastfeeding. Consider also giving yourself a break from the mouth-to-skin feeding by investing in a good pump that can relieve you of breastmilk and allow you to save it for later use through bottles.
Remember that you cannot compare experiences and that you are doing your best. Difficulties aren’t only possible but probable. You need to take care of yourself to take care of your baby!