I did a lot of research about breastfeeding, but unfortunately there were still a lot of things I didn’t know that I wish I knew about before my babies were born. Here’s a list of what I wish I knew:
1. Commit to it and don’t give up right away.
2. Your babies will lose weight while waiting for your milk to come in, but do not worry. Your milk will come in and then they’ll be able to gain more weight. This is normal so try not to worry too much. If your baby doesn’t gain weight, your babies’ pediatrician will advise you on your possible options.
3. Breastfeed you’re babies first and then pump after nursing or pump ever 2-3 hours. This will build and keep your supply up. Do this for at least the first 6 weeks while establishing a supply.
4. Set a goal and do your best to reach it.
5. Join some breastfeeding or nursing groups, and even some pumping groups, on Facebook or with support groups if you can. Even if you’re just exclusively breastfeeding join pumping groups because you’ll still need to pump to keep a supply up and it never hurts to build a stash of breast milk just in case. You’ll also get some great advice.
6. LC are also great help but experience will be your greatest ally. Talk to different moms who are breastfeeding and learn from their experiences. I saw two LC and one was hardly any help. She actually insisted one of my babies get formula because he had a tongue/lip tie. I was devastated and this negatively impacted my motivation.
7. Get any lip/tongue ties revised ASAP. This will greatly help with any latching problems you might have. It’ll also help babies empty out your breast properly. Babies empty breast better than a pump and they send stronger signals to you breast to make more milk.
8. The most important thing is support. You just have a support system. Your spouse, family members, friends, and so on who encourage you to breastfeed and won’t hurt your goals. I can’t stress this enough. My husband always told me it was okay to quit and he always reached for the formula first. He never seemed to remember that I wanted to breastfeed my babies and this greatly discouraged me.
Even more than the latching issues because I believed he didn’t think I could do it. I still think this way because despite how often I tell him about my goals breastfeeding wise, he still doesn’t seem to acknowledge my wishes. He also insisted we use pacifiers which could cause nipple confusion. Everything he did made my breastfeeding journey so much harder, which is why my goal of one year of exclusively breastfeeding is now three months of triple feeding (nursing, pumping, and formula). I passed three months and my new goal is six months, but I don’t know if I can keep this up.
I’ve never breastfed a singleton, but breastfeeding twins was so much harder than I imagined. My supply couldn’t keep up with the demand of two. I had enough milk for one baby, but not for two. So after a grueling 6 months, I stopped. It was hard at first because my long term goal was at least a year, but I’m glad I made it to my short term goal of 6 months.
There are so many factors to breastfeeding but don’t forget that the way your baby is fed is not important. A fed baby is more important than how you feed them. If you can’t breastfeed or if it affects your mental health negatively, it’s okay to just feed your baby formula. Do what’s best for you and your baby. Happy moms create happy babies.
Please feel free to reach out to me on any advice about breastfeeding (or even pumping). I have done a ton of research and would be glad to pass on any knowledge I have.
Here are some other tips on how to improve your milk supply:
– Body Armor/Gatorade
– Coconut Water
– Lactation Cookies
– Power Pumping
If you have any questions, or even advice for other mothers, leave a comment below! If you enjoyed reading this, don’t forget to like it. If you’re looking forward to future content, feel free to follow/subscribe! Also, if you haven’t yet, checkout my pregnancy journey! Thanks for reading! See you on the next one! (:
(Feature Photo Credit: Baby Center