Practical Tips for Successful Breastfeeding
To breast feed or not to breastfeed
You maybe some weeks away from giving birth, but no doubt you have been asked by countless people the million dollar question; are you going to breastfeed?
Perhaps it is this initial hype about what a mother is going to do that leads to lots of women deciding not to breastfeed. Regardless of the reason, sadly the statistic confirm less than half of women giving birth decide to or continue to breastfeed their babies.
Of course there may be medical reasons why breastfeeding is not for you, but lets face it, breastfeeding is in a lot of ways so much easier than bottle feeding.
Basic benefits of breastfeeding
It sounds obvious but you may not appreciate this till you little bundle of joy is born, simply stopping for baby to breastfeed is so much easier and faster than having to sterilize bottles, carry formula, mix it all up and heat it to the right temperature.
Breastfeeding mums don't really need to take anything else with them, as they carry the food source with them already.
It does not matter where you are when your baby is hungry, you can simply let him or her attach to the food source.
If you have experience in getting out the door with a newborn you will appreciate how much work is involved and if you can minimize the workload go for it.
Similarly traveling, going to the movies or out for dinner is so much easier whilst breastfeeding since you won't need to take anything extra with you.
All you will need is the nappy bag and a change of clothes for bub.
5 Breastfeeding Tips
Breastfeeding in Public
If you are worried about breastfeeding in public you don't need to be. Breastfeeding is a naturl part of raising children and most places are supportive of breastfeeding mothers.
Most shopping centres have parent rooms with quiet comfortable rooms for mothers to breastfeed. Going out for coffee with girlfriends is also possible, particularly if you take a shawl or large wrap to give you and bub a bit more privacy.
Gone are the days where breastfeeding was frowned upon. Remember the women who choose to go out and breastfeed in public will and can inspire those that do not feel that comfortable.
Don't keep time
Don't watch the clock
Most people's lives are dictated by time. We need to be at work at a particular time, we need to take kids to school on time and so on.
One thing you will find with your newborn is they did not come out with a clock. Chances are your little one will want to feed all the time (at least that is what it feels like).
I you can try and not keep looking at the time but go with the flow. What does it matter that the dishes did not get done, or the washing or the ironing. Taking the time to breastfeed your bub is more important.
It may help you to think about it from this perspective; in the scheme of a time line the time you will be tied to breastfeeding is a matter of months and not years. Hence it does not matter if for a few months the home is in a somewhat chaotic state because you are busy providing a food source to another human being.
Enjoy these few months with your bub. Try reading or listening to music whilst breast feeding or simply enjoy the pleasure of watching life develop in front of your eyes.
Through the good times and the bad ones
You will read much about breastfeeding, including that it does not hurt. True it is that breastfeeding does not hurt, but it pays to remember that particularly early on it may feel a little uncomfortable. It is also perfectly normal to have to get used to breastfeeding. Try and persist even if it appears as though it might be easier to give in and get bottles, formula and sterilizing kit. As with most things in life, the longer you do it for (practice makes perfect) the better it will get. Both you and bub will need to get used to each other. It can be overwhelming after having given birth to start breastfeeding but it is worth it.
Of course bub will love being breastfed and be close to you, particularly in the first few weeks.
Try and enjoy this special time with your bundle of joy, it is such a short time in the life of both you and the baby.
Looking after yourself during breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is hard work. It is time consuming and your body has to work hard to feed another human being.
Therefore make sure you look after yourself.
Always have plenty of water, particularly whilst bub is feeding.
Eat healthy, but do enjoy a treat if you feel like one.
Once bub is a little older and you are able to get some 'me' time, treat yourself to a hairdo, a massage or something else that takes your fancy.
A happy relaxed you will be a happy relaxed mum and lead to a happy relaxed bub.
If you are still unsure and worried just give it a go. What do you have to lose? And try and approach breastfeeding as something natural, something countless of women have done before you and something most animals do as well.