Knowing you’ll have a baby in the near future and wanting to take care of that little one is an amazing feeling. But as wonderful as it is to have your bundle of joy arriving, that doesn’t mean your life will be easy. In fact, having a child often brings with it many new challenges. While there are no fail-safes when it comes to raising a child, there are some things you can do to help make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. And if you’re reading this article now, it probably means that you’re already well on your way! To help make your first few weeks as a parent more relaxing and less stressful, this article covers the things you should know about common breastfeeding problems before your baby arrives.
Don’t forget to breastfeed!
When you’re expecting a baby, you might feel like you have to breastfeed. And while you should definitely breastfeed your baby, don’t feel pressured by others into doing so either. You can breastfeed for as long or as little as you want to. Breastfeeding is a very personal decision and it’s okay if you don’t want to breastfeed. There are so many benefits to breastfeeding, including a stronger bond between you and your baby, reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer, a boost in your immune system, and less risk of type 2 diabetes. Even if you decide to formula feed, breastfeeding is still the healthiest option.
Know your breastfeeding goals
One of the best ways to make breastfeeding work for you is to know what your goals are and make sure you’re working towards them. If you know that you want to breastfeed for two years, then you can make sure that you’re planning your day around breastfeeding. It’s easy to get sucked into the day-to-day hustle of motherhood but it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself: am I really making sure that my baby is getting the best possible start in life? If you’re not sure, try to remember what you’re doing now, and ask yourself if you’d be a bit happier with a few fewer things on your plate.
Trust your body and instincts
Your body is going to be telling you what it needs, whether you like it or not. When you’re expecting a baby, you’ll probably feel like there’s a lot more pressure to breastfeed than usual. After all, breastfeeding is what’s supposed to work for all babies, so everyone will be pressuring you to do so. But in reality, breastfeeding is a completely individual choice – there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
So before you feel like you’re being judged for not breastfeeding, remember: you’re doing what feels right for your body. Your body is not going to lie to you – you’re probably in pain caused by mastitis when you’re trying to breastfeed because you need more sleep, a better bra, or some time to get your body back into a good rhythm. Steer clear of anything that makes you feel bad.
Keep a Breastfeeding Diary
Breastfeeding is a very personal experience and the more you can get outside of your own head, the better. Breastfeeding is a lot like going on a diet – it’s important to get someone outside of yourself to record what you’re eating and to make sure that you’re eating enough calories to sustain yourself. Keeping a breastfeeding diary is a great way to stay grounded and make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need. You can keep a breastfeeding diary by writing down what you’re eating, where you’re being fed (crib, in the car, at work, etc.), how long feeding lasted, and how much you’re eating.
Stay connected with other mamas
One of the best ways to make breastfeeding work for you is to get connected with other mamas who are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding does not come naturally to everyone, and many mothers are very nervous about how to make it work for them. Having a breastfeeding peer group or a lactation consultant (LC) can be extremely helpful, as you can receive support and encouragement when you need it.
An LC can also help you avoid the pressure that many breastfeeding women feel because it’s not something that most people do. Having a support group can also be a great way to make friends with other moms, and it can give you a non-judgmental sounding board if you have any questions or concerns. If you don’t have any family nearby, you can find local breastfeeding support groups online. You can also try posting on social media to see if you can find someone in your area.
Prepare for common breastfeeding problems and know how to handle them
There are a few things that you can do to make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby, whether you decide to breastfeed or formula feed.
Improve the latch will help you both bond and reduce stress
One of the easiest ways to make breastfeeding work better for you is to improve the latch. The latch is the way that you’re holding your baby, and it’s one of the most important ways you can do this. There are a few different ways to improve the latch, which can help you make the most of breastfeeding, whether you decide to breastfeed or formula feed.
Your pregnancy is one of the most important times of your life. Most women who get pregnant will enjoy their pregnancy, but many experience anxiety because they don’t know what to expect. And some may feel pressured to formula feed, or feel like they’re not doing something right if they don’t. If you’re reading this article now, it likely means that you’re already making great strides and that breastfeeding will be an exciting and rewarding experience. And when it comes to breastfeeding, there’s a lot you can do before your baby arrives to make it even easier. So make sure you don’t miss these key points!