Breastfeeding Expectations

What Advice Do You Wish You Had Heard Before You Started Breastfeeding?

This is a question I hear quite often, so I thought I would share my favorite tips, as well as share the amazing comments we received from our Facebook page when we asked our fellow breastfeeding mamas!

My Top 5 Pieces of Advice Every Woman Should Have Before She Breastfeeds:

1. Find a lactation consultant in your area before you have your baby. 

No one should have to google this information at 3:30 in the morning when you feel like your nipples are going to fall off.  Instead, spend a few minutes on the computer, in between your stroller and diaper research, to find an international board certified lactation consultant who seems like a really great person. Check out her Yelp reviews and ask your friends who they would recommend. 

When It's Time to Find a New Lactation Consultant

Recently, I have noticed many conversations online where breastfeeding mothers have expressed feelings of despair and frustration that their needs were not met while working with a lactation consultant. In fact, this isn't just happening online, but also in my community as well. 

Last week, my appointment with a new mom started off with her explaining that she was feeling very fragile and insecure, as she had already met with a lactation consultant and it didn't go so well.  When I asked her what happened, she described a lactation consultation that had gone completely wrong.  In a nutshell, the IBCLC told the mom that if she followed her pediatrician's advice (which I actually thought was quite reasonable advice) that she would completely lose her already low milk supply (which was absolutely not the case) and that she should just consider bottle feeding her baby if her nipples hurt that badly.  At the end of the consultation, the mom felt completely defeated and that she was a horrible mom for wanting to follow her pediatrician's advice. 

This story absolutely infuriated me! 

Breastfeeding Expectations for the First Month

Do you remember what breastfeeding was like during those first few weeks after your baby was born? 

I personally remember feeling somewhat clumsy and awkward, as if my son and I were trying to master a new dance without stepping on each other’s toes.  Our rhythm was slightly off.   I constantly relied on my breastfeeding pillow and there was absolutely no dependable schedule.  I was forced to switch off my Type-A brain and learn to go with the flow, which was quite a challenge for me, to say the least!

Yet, as the months went by our breastfeeding relationship changed.  In most ways, it improved immensely, as I became a more confident mother and caregiver.  In other ways, different nuances surfaced, which taught me that breastfeeding, like parenting, is constantly in a state of motion and sometimes in need of modifications.