The Lifestlye Blog of "HaM"
“Breastmilk: Human milk contains a balance of nutrients that closely matches infant requirements for brain development, growth and a healthy immune system. Human milk also contains immunologic agents and other compounds that act against viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Since an infant’s immune system is not fully developed until age 2, human milk provides a distinct advantage over formula.” – Medterms.com
There is no doubt that breast milk is good for infants. However, mother nature sure made something so simple as feeding a child very difficult for many women. For a first time mom, the whole concept of breastfeeding is challenging to grasp. No matter how many classes or books you read, there is nothing like the first time you hold your newborn and a lactation specialist helps you with that first latch.
Some challenges that moms run into are nipple pain, incorrect latch from the baby, and lack of milk production. There are many people who say that if breastfeeding hurts, it is probably done incorrectly. I beg to differ because I truly think it depends on every woman’s body. My first son had a ferocious appetite and cried until I caved in and supplemented him with formula. When my milk finally came in, I went back to nursing exclusively. I knew that my colostrum was enough for him, but his crying was frustrating me as a first time mom and so I gave him what he wanted. With my second son, I held firm and knew from his wet and dirty diapers that he was being fed enough even without seeing that much colostrum being made. Here is a picture of me nursing my second son within minutes after he was born. No nudity – don’t worry 🙂
All I can offer is advice for moms who are struggling with the first few days of trying to produce breast milk.
#1. Do not give up – work work work! Breast milk is like gold and it sure does not come easy for many women. Sometimes it takes a little sacrifice whether it is in the form of time, pain, or discomfort to make the supply needed for your child. If a method does not work for you, that is okay and try another solution. Try as many as possible before throwing in the towel.
#2. Be determined and diligent – Set that alarm and make sure no matter how exhausted you are to keep at it by pumping or feeding. With my second son, I was so determined that I never missed a single feeding and every feeding was my son drinking from one side and the pump simultaneously pumping milk on the other side for the freezer stash.
#3. Research & Ask Questions – There is so much information out there on the internet that may be helpful to one mom but not another. Since every woman is different and experiences vary, it important to read up on scenarios similar to your own to figure out what would be the best solution for you. There is no RIGHT answer so do not let someone tell you that something is wrong unless you feel that it is wrong. Ask many questions to friends and family and hear what their story was.
#4. Find Support– Whether it is your significant other, your family, your friends, or strangers on a blog, find someone who can support your efforts. I remember posting pictures of my milk supply on Instagram just so that I continued to get encouragement from my family and friends because I was losing motivation along the way. When you are lacking in sleep for months at a time, even a “like” on social media can be motivating and rewarding.
#5. Stay positive, the baby will be okay – No matter what happens, moms definitely put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. If the breastfeeding thing truly doesn’t work out, just stay positive and know that your beautiful baby will continue to grow. I had to have laparoscopic surgery 8 weeks into having my second son and he refused to latch after the surgery so I had to go from exclusively nursing to exclusively pumping. It was quite a change and not what my “plan” was, but I tried to stay positive and make the best of it. It was painful at first (see #1), but I got through it and am still pumping milk until this very day!
Leave a comment to let me know if any of this helped you at all. I would love to hear from you.
The next part will be about how I built my 3000+ ounces of liquid gold!