Dear Lady Friends,
I’m going to give it to you straight. After 9 months of caring for a baby, and going through hours of delivering your baby, you will get the magical prize of having to breastfeed.
Yes, breastfeed. Oh didn’t they tell you about it? I’m sure they mentioned it to you at some point. I mean you know about it generally speaking.
Well, my question is…
Why the hell doesn’t anyone tell you how damn hard breastfeeding is? And for the love of god, why doesn’t anyone prepare you?
We have Lamaze classes, so where the hell are my breastfeeding warnings, my breastfeeding best practices, and my breastfeeding videos!?
So ladies — here is your official warning. Don’t say I didn’t tell it to you straight. It sucks, literally. And not only does it suck, it hurts, its mentally and physically draining and it will be one of the very hardest things you’ll ever do in your life.
You think doing your residency was hard? Think again. You think running a marathon is hard? Think again bitches. The stamina needed for the first few weeks of breastfeeding is REAL.
It will rock Your World. If someone says it was easy. Immediately dismiss them. Either this is a lie or they are some type of superhuman.
The good news is that if you can make it past the first month, you are pretty much home free. I’m not saying you won’t experience possible complications, a clogged duct here and there, sore nipples, wet spots on your shirt at work, having to leave a meeting because your baby relies on you for food and if you lost your milk stash to a power outage, you my friend are especially screwed. But, mostly you are in a good groove and you’ll be able to overcome these continuous challenges!
If you plan on breastfeeding from the beginning, a few words of wisdom from this mama:
Have the hospital perform skin on skin for you at birth, which is the act of setting the baby right on your chest after delivery, forgoing the bath. The smell from the delivery will awaken an instinct, and your baby is more likely to search for your nipple and begin the breastfeeding process.
Don’t give up!
Hire a post-Douala to come to your house as soon as you get back from the hospital and help you breastfeed.
Don’t give up!
Don’t use a pump until week 3
If you’re still not getting it, hire that Douala to come back another day and help you. Have her give you recommendations and best practices on pumping.
Don’t give up!
Express milk right into a bottle (glass bottles are best mamas) and give it immediately to the baby for the first time. Do this three more times if you want the baby to take a bottle easily.
Go dairy free if your baby is experiencing any gas, re-flux or colic. Of course tell your doctor and collaborate on a solution.
Watch the wonder you created while you breastfeed your baby. Her eyes, his face, this moment…
If you’re a traveling mom, do your research. I lost my milk on a 3 day trip across the country.
I’ve also pumped on an airplane right in my seat, in a shower of an airport lounge, and in a closet at work 5 days a week. We need to make this easier on women, people!
If you can’t keep up with the feeds, my advice is to cut out the late morning, afternoon, and late evening feeds (one by one) and just concentrate on the night and morning feeds. Build your milk with these two feeds and it will allow you to breastfeed for longer period without losing your milk altogether.
You’ll know when it’s time to stop.
Wean slowly. It will make an impact on the health of your breasts as well as the baby.
There are so many wonderful benefits to breastfeeding if you can do it. The longer you go, the more benefits the two of you get to experience!
If you have to go through the formula route, I suggest making your own or finding an European brand formula. America formulas are nasty. Check it out for yourself!
Good speed to you!