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Steps to Breastfeed Successfully

Updated on September 29, 2013

You Can Do This!

[Disclaimer: I am in no why judging people who can not or do not breastfeed, but formula-feed instead. This is just my story and how I was able to stick with breastfeeding.]

There were at least 10 Reasons I Decided to Breastfeed. I was however, very nervous to try and scared that I wouldn't be successful. I was successful, though, and my baby and I have been nursing for 13 months now. I want to share with you how I was able to do it.

As with many things in life, a majority of my success was mental / psychological.

Yay for Breastfeeding!

Mommy and Baby
Mommy and Baby
Yay for Supportive Daddies!
Yay for Supportive Daddies!
Zonked AKA Milk Coma
Zonked AKA Milk Coma

How You can Stick with Breastfeeding

Here are some Steps to Success if you're determined, as I was, to breastfeed. I was not going to let anything stand in my way, despite how scared I was to try. So here is what I did:

1.) Marry a good guy so you can have a supportive husband. I told my husband that I wanted to breastfeed and expressed to him quite a few times how scared I was that it would either hurt too bad or not work. He was so helpful and supportive, quelling my fears before our daughter was born and helping me in any way he could after she was born.

2.) Have goals. The first one should be 6 weeks. If you can make it passed 6 weeks, many people insist that you're in the clear. Some people who have a particularly hard time take it one day at a time, which is also a good strategy.

3.) Read. Before your little one is born, do the research. Read up on the benefits of breastfeeding because that will be great motivation, but also read up on how to breast feed. Learning how to properly latch and hold the newborn was essential to my success.

4.) Go to a Le Leche League Meeting. I was only able to make it to one of these, but it was very helpful. The ladies were all very nice and answered the questions I had. They even gave me a packet of information to read.

5.) Watch a video on How to Breastfeed. Seeing it done is sometimes easier than reading how it's done.

6.) Talk to other moms who breastfeed. I only had one or two friends with children at the time, but even that was very helpful to me. I started facebook conversations with them and talked to them in person and I wasn't afraid to ask questions.

7.) Speaking of not being afraid, don't be afraid to ask for help at the hospital after your baby is born. At my hospital, there were nurses as well as Lactation Consultants who were extremely helpful in teaching me how to breast feed. The hospital where I had my daughter was very supportive of the decision to breast feed; I hope yours is as well.

8.) Make it clear to nurses, doctors and other hospital workers that you don't want your baby to get a pacifier. I struggled with the nursery workers at our hospital who kept sticking one in her mouth anyway. Eventually they stuck a no pacifier note on her bassinet. You can make one of these yourself and bring it in your hospital bag if you'd like. (I want to note here that I have talked to many moms who have breastfed successfully and allowed pacifiers from the beginning, but from what I read, pacifiers could cause nipple confusion.)

9.) Join a Forum. I advise this hesitantly. Proceed with caution. Ladies in those forums can get pretty snarky and even mean. I ended up leaving and staying away eventually because I don't like Internet Drama. If you do join a forum, there are many people you can find who can be an extremely valuable and helpful resource, but because you won't know everyone reading, be careful not to divulge too much personal information.

10.) Get nursing tanks, Landolin and a Heat Compress. I live in a nursing tank. It is comfortable and easy to use for quick breastfeeding. Landolin helps with soreness and a Heat Compress helps in case you get clogged milk ducts or anything like that. See also what Essentials you need for your Breastfeeding Spot.

Also check out:

My Blog Post on the Top 5 Places to Breastfeed

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    • a moment of time profile image

      a moment of time 5 years ago

      My son was an extended nurser and everything you just said is absolutely wonderful advice to a new mom thinking of breastfeeding! The only issue I had was my son had a high yeast count in his body and the lanolin sealed the bacteria in and we ended up with thrush several times early on. Once I let that go and went with a different, thinner, ointment, we were good ;) And...gentian violet was a great natural thrush treatment!

      In any case, good advice!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Awesome resource, Jamie! I don't know any moms who didn't find the Lactation Consultants at the hospital extremely helpful. It is really easy to get into a mindset of wanting to do everything yourself, but it's important to remember to rely on others for support, guidance, etc.

    • mommygonebonkers profile image

      mommygonebonkers 5 years ago

      These are great!

      I had trouble with my first getting him to latch, but all I had to do was call the nurse and they were happy to help. And I think it was the 4 week mark that it just clicked and it was super smooth sailing after that.

      I'd like to add, Get baby to breast as soon as possible! My first had his cord wrapped around his neck so they whisked him off for observation for 4 hours. I think that contributed to the difficulties.

      My second was an easy birth and I was able to get him to my breast right away and it was a breeze with him!

      Congrats on your beautiful baby and successful breastfeeding!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

      The first 6 weeks were indeed the hardest with my first baby and I guess part of it was the natural mums anxiety of "Am I doing it right?". With my second it was a lot easier and I had no issues whatsoever partly because I was confident in my abilities to BF.