There are so many women out there who beat themselves up for not breastfeeding their child. I know, I was one of them. Hey, breastfeeding is tough. Not everyone can do it and if youre a parent and you choose to breastfeed you child - congratulations! If you decided to go with formula then I'm not going to judge you and will, in fact, support you all the way.
I had so many excuses, er, challenges with my firstborn, Z, and why I had to give her formula:
- She wouldn't latch on to my breast when she was born
- I felt like she wasn't getting enough milk
- I felt so sorry for her when she would cry and fuss
For my second baby, E, I wanted to make sure that I stick with breastfeeding and not find a convenient excuse to fall back on. Basically, I didn't give myself any other choice but to breastfeed. Here's what I did:
Research like crazy.
I devoured breastfeeding blogs and articles. I copied the tips they gave out and compiled them into a notepad. I took note of the different positions they tried for breastfeeding success as well as the problems they encountered in the event that I would face them myself one day.
Reach out to other breastfeeding mothers.
Having a support group is invaluable. I was absolutely motivated by the wife of one of my closest friends, she exclusively breastfed her firstborn and had a couple of freezers full of her milk. She cheered me on. Gave me so many tips on her successful breastfeeding journey and she made sure that the gifts she gave me from the baby shower and the other celebrations after that, fully supported breastfeeding. She directed me to other breastfeeding sites/forums on the internet and these also helped me so much in terms of knowledge and support.
Don't buy formula/bottles.
When Z was born we had a checklist of things we needed to buy, from diapers to crib sheets to baby bottles and cleaners, and we made sure we bought them and completed the list. This time around, we deliberately chose not to buy bottles for the baby or even formula. The very idea of having the formula and bottles close by would be too tempting for me to resist. And at the slightest hurdle, I knew I would cave and bottle feed the baby. So I decided to eliminate that temptation altogether. This was probably the best and easiest tip ever and it super worked for me.
Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
I told myself that my ultimate goal would be to breastfeed E exclusively. But I also told myself that if I did not get to reach that goal, then I wouldn't punish myself or think of it as a form of failure. I told myself that I would give it my all and if there's really nothing there, then there's nothing much I can do about it. It would not make me less of a good mother if I cannot breastfeed.
Remember, the first few weeks after you give birth are already stressful. As a new mom, make it a point to focus on your lovely baby rather than obsess on breastfeeding.
I'm no expert when it comes to breastfeeding but these were what worked for me and I'm happy I stuck to my guns. I am still breastfeeding E and my volume or supply is still pretty good. How about you? How did you prepare for breastfeeding your little one?
I will share some of the links to the blogs and forums that helped me out so please check the next post for that!