I'm a breastfeeding advocate.
That being said, I didn't breastfeed my daughter. I tried to breastfeed her. I agonized over it. I cried and I became depressed about it.
All that anguish and the two of us only made it a 3 weeks breastfeeding.
And yet, it has only amped up my determination to breastfeed number two (who, I am now announcing, is due in APRIL!!)
So I wanted to give new mommies a few tips on breastfeeding, coming from someone who has been through the tough stuff.
#1. This is SOOO important! Talk to the lactation consultant at your hospital! Get to know her before you are in labor. Become comfortable with her (it's easier to be less shy when your girls are hanging out and you're struggling to get your new little one to latch if you aren't concerned about the girls hanging out.) Make sure you'll have support and help as soon as you have delivered your child. You'll want to start breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery, so you should know the lactation consultant will be there when you need her!
#2. Be ready to try many different positions. Only you and your child will figure out what positions work best for the two of you. Trial and error is terrific, if you know what positions to try! (Cradle, Clutch, Side-lying & different variations.. start researching now, it'll be easier to try later!)
#3. Do your research! Start reading breastfeeding articles, Q&A's and online forums each week. Familiarize yourself with your resources, facts and knowledge now. You'll be more prepared later on!
#4. Remember, latch is everything! If your baby can't latch, he can't eat. It's that important. And latching ties into all above mentioned tips. You'll be more successful with latching if you enlist help (lactation consultant), find the position your infant latches easiest, and you've done your homework and know how to troubleshoot latching should it become an issue!
As for my choice to breastfeed, there are so many great reasons! It's healthiest for baby, benefits Mom and is very cost effective!
My child will benefit! Colostrum (the beginning milk that comes in for the first few days, yellowish in color) helps a newborn digest! It helps move all that sticky meconium out of the little one's digestive tract. The antibodies you pass on to your child help him fight off infection he'd otherwise have no resistance to.
I benefit! I don't waste time fixing a bottle, it's already a good temperature, I don't need to clean bottles and I don't feel nauseous smelling formula (seriously, that stuff smells and tastes toxic!) My uterus shrinks and heals faster (the body reacts quicker when your nipples are stimulated during nursing! Weird but true!) I'll have a head start on returning to my pre-pregnancy weight and build because breastfeeding burns calories! And lastly, I'll get all that bonding time with my new little one!
My family's finances benefit GREATLY!
Breastfeeding is a free food source. Have you done the math if you are thinking about formula feeding? With our daughter, we spent around and over $100 a month on formula! That's an extra $100 we could be paying off debit, saving or spending on other needs!
I invite you to visit The Breastfeeding is Best for All Babies event over at The Baby Store Plus Blog!