20 years ago, breastfeeding is not mandatory in hospitals. Fast forward today, most hospitals encourage and even consider breastfeeding as a mandatory requirement.
When I gave birth to my first child, I didn’t consider breastfeeding as a primary option. I did breastfeed for two months but my baby was formula-fed most of the time. Plus, it hurts a lot. I was also suffering from postpartum depression at that time and to top it off, I don’t have much milk in me. Because of immaturity, I didn’t take breastfeeding seriously and didn’t even bother seeking for help.
But when I had my second baby, I made a promise to breastfeed more often. I did consider formula milk but I tried my best to breastfeed as much as I can. My husband was even encouraging me to breastfeed since I am a stay-at-home mom and there’s no excuse not to give my baby the best nutrients she can get. I read a lot of information on the internet and gathered tips from breastfeeding moms on how to increase milk supply and pushed myself to breastfeed. After all, this is for the baby.
Breastfeeding is not an easy task, especially at first. And to all the new moms who are thinking of breastfeeding, here are some tips and techniques I learned and discovered when it comes to breastfeeding.
1. Read a lot about breastfeeding. The childbirth class I attended to talked about breastfeeding and its importance. But when I’m on the actual situation, I felt like I don’t know anything about breastfeeding. The Internet has a lot of reliable information about breastfeeding and how to increase milk supply. Maximize on those and keep yourself informed.
2. It’s going to hurt. Don’t be fooled by commercials and pictures of moms looking happy while breastfeeding. During the first few weeks, breastfeeding will hurt – a lot. Cracked or sore nipples is normal but after some time, it’s going to get better. It took me 6 weeks before I can breastfeed with no pain.
If you need relief on cracked or sore nipples, use Avent Moisturizing Nipple Cream to reduce the pain. I have been using it ever since and so far, it’s effective.
3. Do NOT compare. There are moms who have abundant milk supply while there are many others, like me, who find it hard to get the milk out. Don’t feel bad. While it’s hard not to feel jealous, your body will eventually learn how to produce milk.
With my first baby, I didn’t have much supply. I felt so depressed because there’s no milk coming out. Thinking that I cannot fulfill my baby’s needs, I refused to breastfeed. With my second child, breastfeeding is effortless. I’ve been breastfeeding a lot now, thereby increasing the milk supply. It’s just a matter of demand and supply.
4. Drink lots of water. The amount of liquid intake does not equate to the amount of milk you have in your body. However, it is advisable to drink lots of water since the body loses liquids every feeding and you need to replenish it with liquids.
5. Eat healthy. Eating healthy not only gives you the nutrients you need but also, you are able to pass on something healthy to the baby. For me, I was so excited to drink coffee as soon as I gave birth however, experts suggest that caffeine-intake should be limited. So I just stick to water, ate a lot of soups, fruits and vegetables and avoided junk foods.
6. Make sure you’re on a comfortable position when feeding. Once you’re in a relaxed state, milk comes out naturally. Plus, a comfortable feeding position will ensure that the baby latches properly, minimizing the risk of cracked nipples. Surround yourself with pillows, listen to soothing music, relax and just enjoy the moment.
Remember, breastfeeding is not just a choice, it’s a commitment.
Ayi is a stay-at-home mom of two. When her kids are in their best state, she keeps up with chores, work, and ensuring that her sanity is intact. Join her as she navigates through this rollercoaster ride called motherhood.