1. Know your limits!
Breastfeeding can be really difficult or really easy. It all depends on the individual. I encourage you to really think about your level of commitment. For me, I was going to breastfeed if it killed me. I want to encourage you to know that there are many options out there to feed the baby. After baby is born, you will have a world of emotions and hormones pulsing through your body. It’s good to think about your level of commitment now rather than wait until after baby is born.
2. Every baby is different.
Every mom is different. Every situation is different. You are not a failure if breastfeeding isn’t all you thought it would be.
3. It’s not for every mom.
I have several friends who decided that breastfeeding wasn’t worth more than her mental health. There are many ways to feed a baby. Again, you are not a failure if breastfeeding isn’t for you.
4. FEED THE BABY!
I can’t tell you how many tear filled phone calls I have received or conversations that I have had with new mom’s who are struggling. They are sleep deprived, stressed, and holding a screaming baby. Feed the baby my friend. Especially in those first few weeks. You can’t break the baby by giving them a bottle of formula. The baby needs food and you maybe need sleep, rest, a break, etc. Whatever the complication may be, feeding your baby a little formula may be what needs to happen for both you and babies health and sanity.
5. You need a breast pump.
Truly, right when your milk comes in you will need a breast pump. Make the arrangements now or have a plan to have a breast pump to use right away. It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
6. Breast milk storage plan.
I wrote my breastmilk storage plan in detail here. Your’s may look different than my plan but it is important to have a plan. You will have excess milk that you may not know what to do with and it hurts my soul to think that you will throw that liquid gold down the drain.
7. Babies lose weight after their born.
For some reason this was a huge shock to me after I had my first. I didn’t read the parenting books. My mentality has always been “why read a baby book when my baby didn’t read that book?” Maybe I should’ve? But I still haven’t read the baby books. My sweet girl was so tiny and she kept losing weight! I fed her all night long! I didn’t sleep, she didn’t sleep daddy didn’t sleep. (Did I mention crazy hormones that make you crazy?) It’s natural for babies to lose weight after their born, but not too much.
I hope this post was some encouragement to you and makes you feel even a little more prepared for your parenthood journey! Questions? Just ask. I want to be your “person”, your friend who has been there before and your safe place to land if things don’t go exactly how you planned in those first few months. I’ve been there and you are definitely not alone!