So… a lot has happened since my last blog post. My life has literally been turned upside down and life as I knew it is over! We now have a 1 month old baby and every day is an adventure. My first child is now 13 years old, so needless to say having a baby at home is like starting over and trying to figure everything out day by day. At the same time, we have never been happier and we are loving every minute of it!
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby. This is something that I was determined to do since I was not able to do it with my first child. While pregnant I did a lot of research and found many books and articles on all the benefits breastfeeding has for the baby and mom. I also attended classes to make sure I was as informed as possible.
What I soon found out is that regardless of all the books and articles I read about breastfeeding, let me just tell you right now that it is one of the hardest things I’ve done! I had a very difficult first week after bringing the baby home due the baby having an incorrect latch which led to a lot of pain and almost quitting the idea of breastfeeding him. One of the most common reasons why moms stop breastfeeding is because the baby never gets a correct latch, making it very painful to breastfeed. Another misconception is the fact that the baby is not getting enough milk the first couple of weeks and doctors encouraging moms to supplement with formula. And there is also a little detail that I never thought about which is the fact that breastfed babies don’t sleep as long as formula babies and you literally have to feed them every 1.5 to 2.0 hours every day!! Think about this one for a minute… day and night you have to be up every 2 hours!! It is exhausting!
As exhausting as this is, let me just tell you that breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. The fact that a little baby is growing strong and healthy and it is because of YOU is literally priceless!
If you or anyone you know is planning on breastfeeding these are my personal suggestions to help you based on my experience:
- Educate yourself – There are many books and articles on this subject, the book that I read and was by my side the whole time throughout the first weeks is called “The Breastfeeding Bible” which you can get here! This book has everything you will ever need to know about breastfeeding. The best article I read on this subject is by Ellen Fisher and it is called “Tips for successful breastfeeding”. She does an amazing job explaining everything you need to know on the subject based on her personal experience, you can read her article here
- Get support – One of the most important things you will need is to have a support system around you. Make sure you have your spouse, family, and friends help you so that you can concentrate on healing your body and nursing you baby. For the first 2 to 3 weeks that is all you will be doing so make sure you have help.
- Nourish your body – You will need to eat a lot and drink tons of water to be able to produce milk. Remember that you will burn about 300-500 calories each day just by breastfeeding, so make sure that the foods you eat are foods that are going to help you heal and nourish you so you can give the best milk to your baby. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to keep you healthy and hydrated.
- Call the experts – I would suggest to call a lactation consultant or a doula as soon as you get home from the hospital. That first week is key to make sure your baby has a correct latch and that you feel comfortable feeding him/her. I unfortunately waited until it was too late and I was in extreme pain by the time I called them. Be proactive and hire and hire an expert to help you, this is truly priceless!
- Be patient – Just remember that this is temporary and your baby will grow so fast that you wish you would have enjoyed every moment. I always try to remember this when is 3am and I have to wake up to feed him 🙂
So, these are my recommendations based on my experience. I’m actually very proud of myself and the fact that I was able to overcome all the barriers from the first weeks. Right now I’m just trying to enjoy every moment we are together and the bond we are creating. Please share this with any mom to be or anybody else who can benefit from this information. For now, I cant wait to have more time to get in the kitchen and cook some yummy recipes!