- When I had a lot of pain with nursing, I thought it was normal. I now understand that it was probably due to a latching issue.
- When my milk did not immediately come in, I thought it was not normal. I now know that a mature milk supply might not come in until about three days post birth, so I didn’t have to be so worried.
- I should’ve had that baby nursing, not sucking on a pacifier in the hospital room. To be honest, I knew that beforehand but in the intensity of the moment we needed some crying relief since nursing was not going well.
- I thought I could simply reach out to friends who had breastfed for help when I needed it. Although social support and reaching out to friends (and whoever else will listen!) is incredibly helpful and important, I now realize that they are not trained to recognize when you should seek medical attention. Before giving birth, I definitely should have identified a few trained helpers, such as a local Lactation Consultant or La Leche League volunteer, and reached out for help when I was in pain.
To sum it up, take some time to think beyond the pregnancy and prepare yourself and your family. Although breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned skill.
Here are some resources that provide some guidance on the first leg of your journey:
- Preparing for Breastfeeding (WebMD)
- Prepare for Breastfeeding Success (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- It’s Only Natural – Making Breastfeeding Work for You (Office on Women’s Health)
Stay tuned for future posts on feeding the little one:
The Breastfeeding Chronicles Part 3: The Return of the Mommy