1. Take breaks.
First and foremost, take a break. I tend to forget this step and my husband needs to remind me that I’m acting a little crazy and emotional. He will send me on a walk or to do an errand and he will stay with the baby and feed them a bottle. It has not been a problem with either of my children for me to take a break. Sleep and rest are good when you have a new baby and they can be hard to come by, take breaks when you can.
2. Drink water.
I mean, drink more water than you ever thought humanly possible. Here is the recommendations of how much water a nursing mother should drink.
3. Consider a food plan.
I don’t consider myself a picture of perfection when it comes to healthy eating. But I did learn how important it can be to plan good meals while breastfeeding. You will be hungry ALL. THE. TIME. And you will have no time or energy to cook. There are certain foods that can boost milk supply and help with breast feeding. I have started a Pinterest board that you can follow here full of recipes you can make to assist in your breastfeeding journey. I cannot express to you how incredibly hungry you will be when you are breastfeeding. I do my best to eat high protein meals to help curb that hunger so I’m not just eating all of the time.
4. Use your Breast Pump.
I realize not all mom’s will be as crazy about pumping as I am, but every mom I talk to can see value in using a breast pump. Even if they didn’t use one, there were times when they wish they had one. You will be sore. At some point in time in some way your ladies will get sore and that breast pump can provide some much needed relief during those moments.
5. Find a “Space”
I wish I could find the blog where I first read this concept so I could link back to her, but I can’t so I will just take the credit for this awesome idea. Make a “space” for breastfeeding and pumping. Especially for those first few weeks, I have a space where I go when the baby needs to eat. Usually it’s in front of the tv, in the most comfortable chair or place on the couch. I have my remote control, ready to cue up whatever show I am binge watching while I feed this child for countless hours. I try to think of this place as my “happy place” nursing/pumping can be so boring. I try to fill this space with things I enjoy doing so when it comes time to sit down for the 10th time that day, I’m not upset about sitting down AGAIN to feed the baby AGAIN. I’m excited because this is the time I have to do something I enjoy. Sometimes, I even paint my nails! This changes my attitude so much when it comes time to feed the baby, AGAIN.
Items to have in your space:
-Full water bottle (or 2)
-A good book
-The remote control
-nursing pillow or boppy
-craft? I like to crochet.
My mom has commented many times how my “nursing attire” makes it so easy to nurse your baby. It’s really just something to make your life easier as you spend those countless hours feeding the baby. Can you imagine going straight back into your regular bra? Having to unhook and feed baby with those underwires? That’s what my mom dealt with as she nursed 4 children. I guess you could just wear nothing but that was not an option for me. I tend to be more on the conservative side. I don’t like to just take my ladies out on command. I prefer to be covered as much as possible, for this reason I invest in nursing attire.
7. Ask for help.
Nursing can be really hard for a variety of reasons. Even if your baby is really good at breastfeeding it’s still nice to get a break every now and then. I will never forget the day my friend text me and said, “Can I come over and help you for an hour?” As a first time mom, after I read her text I wanted to say “No, there’s nothing for you to do. I can handle it.” She came over and looked at my unshowered, unrested self and said, “what can I do to help you? What do you need?” And then I smelled the rotten milk smell she probably could smell and I was like, “I think I need a shower.” “Okay, I will sit and hold your precious new baby girl while you take a shower. I will tell you if she starts crying.” Since she was such a good friend I didn’t mind her walking into the bathroom to say the baby was crying. Thankfully, I took a nice hot shower, changed my clothes, brushed my hair for the first time all day, and had a few precious moments to myself to recollect my emotions before heading back out to feed the baby, AGAIN.
Do you have any other tips? Let me know your thoughts.