We have all seen the breastfeeding campaigns with the beautiful mom feeding her baby happily content. It’s such a beautiful picture and so inspiring. And yes, breastfeeding is an incredible journey and should be encouraged everywhere, but let’s face it: it can leave us ugly crying and feeling like a zombie.
Like all moms agree, it is all worth it in the end. But sometimes you will be up at 3am with a soaking shirt, screaming baby and a darling husband who is fast asleep. Daytime can be just as rough. You haven’t showered since who knows when, your pj's have last week’s food stains and you’ve eaten a ton of chocolate, all while not accomplishing a single household task.
In the first few weeks you will feel like you haven’t left the same position, and have had your baby in your arms and on your boob for about 90% of the day. You might have sore, cracked and bleeding nipples and need about ten changes of breast pads. Your maternity bras are gross and you’ll probably end up sleeping with your milky jugs hanging out.
Luckily there are many tips and tools to help get around these obstacles.
- Joining a breastfeeding support group, even online can really help you feel like you’re not alone. There are more than enough moms out there going through the same thing and can share advice and war stories to help you through the tough breastfeeding times.
- As for the nipples, there are nipple creams and even shields for nursing that help with the pain and will allow your nipples to adjust to the new sensation of nursing
- Breast pump cushions are available for the pumping mom to add extra comfort while pumping. The cushions alleviate the pain from the constant rubbing your nipple experiences while using your plastic breast shields.
- Co-sleeping can help you through the night feedings. Many moms find that co-sleeping not only allows you to catch up with a little extra sleep at night, but also increases bonding between mom and baby.
- Breast pads and good feeding bras should help keep the leaky boobs hidden.
- If you have an oversupply manually expressing milk or pump can avoid blocked milk ducts.
Every mom has a different breastfeeding journey.
It is a time of discovery at how your body works. You are built to look after and nurse your offspring, and it really is an incredible thing. Unfortunately sometimes our body needs a little help adjusting to this change in demands and hormones, and this can cause all the aches and complaints many moms experience.
Keep reminding yourself during the tough times why you are breastfeeding, and keep congratulating yourself for sticking it out. The motivation can be hard to find sometimes, but the justification is easy.
First time moms are often left in a panic as to why breastfeeding is so disastrous and painful at times. Why is it not like we see on TV?? Be a light for the other moms and help and encourage them using the tips and tricks you learned throughout your breastfeeding run.
One of the best tips to give a first time mom is to go with your gut. Very often others will try tell you what to do, and that what you’re doing is wrong. You and your baby know what is best, and as long as your baby is happy and healthy, you do what you feel is right.
You are amazing mamma!