Dear First Time Breastfeeding Mama

Good afternoon and happy Wednesday! Over the last 4 months, Breastfeeding has been one of the most wonderful experiences of mamahood. When Paul was 2 months old, I finally let go of the way I thought breastfeeding was suppose to be and embraced the reality of what it actually was. Mamas, here is my advice (based on personal experience) if you are planning to breastfeed.

Be flexibleWhen I first imagined breastfeeding, I thought Paul would eventually adapt to a set feeding pattern, but that was not the case. I learned very quickly to follow his cues. Babies will instinctually feed more when their mama is not producing enough milk or when they are going through a growth spurt. The only way to increase their mamas milk supply is by sucking. Paul has always been a baby who cluster feeds. At 4 months, he eats every hour to hour and a half. His cluster feeding was most intense when he had his posterior tongue and lip tie; at times, he would feed for up to 4 hours in one sitting. Click here to read more about how Paul’s tongue and lip tie impacted breastfeeding.

Appreciate yourself for what you are able to do. Sometimes, things do not go as anticipated. For the first 2 months, my milk supply was insufficient due to Paul’s tongue and lip tie. Until my milk supply increased, we had to supplement at least one bottle a day with formula. I felt very guilty that I did not have enough milk supply to feed him around the clock, but I realized if your supply is low, feed your baby what you can and appreciate what you are able to give him rather than focusing on what you can’t. What’s important is that he is fed, regardless of whether it’s breast milk or formula.

The most efficient and effective way to increase milk supply is by having your baby suck. The more milk your baby demands the more supply you will have. Pump after feedings to ensure that you get as much milk out as possible. If you supplement with formula, pump while your baby is eating or soon after to stimulate your milk production.

It is also important to pump after as many feedings as possible if your body produces too much milk. If your baby is not emptying out your breasts, there is a risk a mastitis.

Relax and enjoy these moments. At times, breastfeeding may become frustrating when you don’t have any time to do anything else. Chores are left undone, and time to yourself is scarse. If possible, ask and accept help for chores. Breastfeeding is a job; you will need to both try to rest and try to eat nutritionally as much as possible.

I found that by being flexible, appreciating myself for what I am able to do, and relaxing and enjoying these moments truly make breastfeeding a wonderful experience. Thank you for reading! I hope you have a very happy Wednesday!

 

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It’s really important that you don’t give up too fast. Of course it’s hard work, but it will get easier.
    I’m breastfeeding my 4 months old baby girl, but still supplementing with formula before bed time. I got my supply up, but I’m trying to store some of my milk in the freezer, for the time when I have to go back to work. For now we are supplementing with organic formula, which is more natural than the store-bought one. Also this kind of formula helps to create a more normal sleeping pattern, because it’s free from sugars and corn syrup, which is hard to digest for little babies. I really like the blog and products from myorganicformula.com, where we also order the formula we are using.
    Thanks for your tips.

    Georgia

    1. Hey Georgia! I am so happy to hear that you are breastfeeding your baby girl =) I agree, it is hard work, but it so so worth it! My son is now 9 months old and we are still exclusively breastfeeding. Not only is it the best source of nutrition for babies; but my son and I have also formed close bond because of it. I am so happy to hear that you were able to get your supply up! =) are you still breastfeeding now?

      When my son was born he had a lip and tongue tie which hindered my milk supply; and at the time we were supplementing 1 feeding a day with the honest company organic formula. After his tongue tie was released, it took a while for my milk supply to catch up to his needs. By 4 months, we were able to discontinue formula and solely breastfeed. Thank you for the link to myorganincformula.com I hope you have a happy and wonderful day!

      -Sandra

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