Breastfeeding is hard but a promise I can honestly make to you is this… it will get better, just stick with it! If you are planning on breastfeeding your newborn understand that it may not come easy to everyone, but it will be worth it. Initially I didn’t think I was going to breastfeed my first born. I was eager to quit (multiple times), but I surprised myself and breastfed him for 13 months. Once I made it over the hurdle I couldn’t let it go. Having survived painful mastitis, a tongue tie, a lip tie and constant engorgement, I now know what I want to do differently this time around.
I have now exclusively breastfed my second born for the first two weeks after giving birth. From the moment she came out I was fortunate to latch her immediately and she stayed there for the first 45 minutes of life. This was the most beautiful experience I can’t even put into words. I was so worried having had a challenging time initially with my first of what it was going to be like with my second. Here are some of my tips and advice to help make your experience a little smoother.
1. Make an appointment with a Lactation Consultant. If you are planning on breastfeeding, do some research on lactation consultants in your area and make an appointment with them around the time you are due. Aside from labor, breastfeeding was the second hardest thing I’ve done in my life. What I mean by this is, it will take some learning from both you and your baby. It’s really an ‘on the job’ kind of learning and having a qualified professional to assist you will make a world of a difference. Learning about the proper technique is crucial to a pleasant breastfeeding journey. If you are in the New York Hudson Valley area, I highly recommend Hudson Valley Breastfeeding, Julie Bouchet-Horwitz. She is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner and lactation consultant. If it wasn’t for her I can honestly say I would not have been so successful with my breastfeeding experience. Click here for her contact information.
2. Get a Breast Pump and I don’t mean any old breast pump. Even if you are hoping to exclusively nurse your baby, there may be a time where you need an extra stash to have someone else bottle feed or you may need help increasing your supply. Whatever it may be, do your research and get a pump that meets your needs. For me, my second time around, I knew I needed something that was more portable. I felt so tied down with my first born, always needing an electrical outlet for my pump, I knew that wasn’t an option this time around. The Ardo Calypso Double Plus is amazing and is covered by most insurances. It has a AA battery use feature, which means I can pump virtually anywhere! It is ultra-silent and it’s ‘vacuum seal’ technology creates a closed system. What do I mean by a closed system you may ask? I had no idea either what this meant my first time around. Well, it means that absolutely no moisture will get into your machine. If your pump does not have a closed system you may be at risk of mold in your pump. This pump has so many amazing benefits. Check out the Ardo Calypso Double Plus here. Plus use coupon code ArdoWBM10 for an exclusive 10% off each item placed in your cart! (Valid thru 8/31/18)
3. Every Mama must have a BALL! Not a baseball or basketball but an exercise ball. Don’t worry about exercising just yet. Use this ball to help soothe your little one after a feeding. I like to call it the anti-colic ball as it has been a life saver for both babies now. Once I am done with a feeding I sit on the ball while holding the baby and gently bounce up and down. This helps alleviate gas and immediately help your baby feel so relaxed. You can get one like this by clicking here.
4. What’s in Your Milk? This was a question I have always wondered myself while breastfeeding. Am I giving my baby the nutrients and vitamins he/she needs through my breastmilk? After speaking to Dr. Stephanie Canale, founder of Lactation Lab and a family medicine Physician, I learned that there is now a way to answer this question. Through ordering a test kit and sending in a sample of your breastmilk, lactation lab can measure calories, protein, carbs, fat content and much more. With this information you can then alter your diet if necessary to pass on the proper nutrition for development to your baby. To learn more about Lactation lab, click here.
5. Feed with Love. Fed is best so no matter what your situation is whether pumping, nursing directly, or even formula feeding, do whatever works for you and do it with love. Late night feedings will soon become a thing of the past in a blink of an eye. As hard as it is, sit back, relax and take in all the joys of your little one staring into your eyes while you feed them. They will soon not even want you touching their fork.