Breastfeeding {Surviving the Early Days}

Note: This post is part our series in observance of World Breastfeeding Week and is sponsored by Woman’s Hospital

Breastfeeding {Surviving the Early Days}

As I write this I’m in the midst of the early days of breastfeeding. Luckily it is with my second child, so some of the fears associated with being the sole source of nourishment for this tiny being aren’t there. Or at least, not as blaring as with my first. 

Breastfeeding {Surviving the Early Days}

The first time around I distinctly remember keeping copious notes of every feeding, wet and dirty diaper, and any other detail I thought I might need. For weeks. I know it helped me feel more confident that my son was getting enough milk. But when I finally decided to ditch the note-taking it felt like a bit of a relief. This time around I downloaded an app hoping to make the job a little easier. While it was a great tool, I lasted about one day with it. I didn’t have the energy to keep up with it, and I trusted my gut that she was getting what she needed.

The second time around is definitely easier since I have the knowledge from last time to build upon. But each experience isn’t likely unique from the previous. Whether it’s your first kid or you’ve done this a few times there are a few things to keep in mind here as you begin the breastfeeding journey. Here are a my top tips for surviving the early days of breastfeeding. 

Relax – Stressing out won’t do anything for your supply. Get comfy and find a TV show or a good book, you’ll be sitting here quite a bit. 

Water & Snacks – Keep something to drink handy at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty and staying hydrated is imperative to a good supply. I also found small snacks were often easier to eat than big meals in those early days. Keep plenty on hand and easy to access so you don’t get too hungry. 

Make Friends with Your Pump – If you will be returning to work and are needing to pump, get acquainted with it sooner rather than later. I waited way too long the first time because the whole thing freaked me out. It takes some getting used to and often those first times pumping don’t get much. But keep at it, it will get better. 

Don’t Waste It – The second time around I discovered this silicone manual breast pump. Instead of losing what comes out the opposite side baby is nursing, this handy device collects it. Seriously. It may look a little odd but it is a life(milk)-saver. You won’t regret it. 

Trust Your Gut – It may take some time to gain enough experience so that you really trust yourself, but usually Momma does know best. You are the one spending the most time with your baby, you learn their signs and what they need. Guidelines and rules for feeding can be very helpful, but every baby is different and you know yours like nobody else. 

Most importantly, do what is right for you and baby. There are so many ways to go about feeding your baby, whatever you choose will be just fine. You’ve got this, Momma!

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