As I sit here breastfeeding my 3 month little girl Ava, I reflect on everything I have learned. I never imagined I would breastfeed or even try for that matter. First off I don’t know anyone & I never see young mothers nursing. I live in Ireland which has the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world.
Here is my list of breastfeeding tips, tricks and facts.
- If its sore your not doing it right– When i got home from the hospital, I continued to breastfeed. Everything was going well until that night and all the next day I started to be in a lot of pain. My nipples even turned purple and unbelievably sensitive. I did not give up because my baby was hungry and I knew this was best for her. She started to cry & then I started to cry on top of her. I felt like I was failing and couldn’t feed my baby. Soon after I realized she wasn’t latching properly most of the time, using my nipple as a soother and liked to bite down. Can you imagine this every 2 to 3 hours? It takes a while to get used to positioning for both you and the baby. Its really not meant to hurt but actually enjoyable.
- Much easier once you get the hang of it- As time goes on and you get that extra 1 hour sleep, it really can make a difference. You start to enjoy it more and baby definitely does too. Its timely and reduces a lot of effort by not sterilizing and cleaning bottles.
- There are so many alternatives- If you want to continue breastfeeding like i did, I encourage you to try a few other methods. Breast pumps are a great investment manual or electric. I have both and the two work extremely well. Helped me a lot at the start when my nipples were sore and expressing got the job done. Great way for storing milk and let mammy have the night off while daddy does a feed for a change. Another alternative is Nipple shields which are remarkably peculiar. Made it so much easier though and improved my practice. Gave me a rest until I was ready to bear it all again. They are reasonably priced too. Without these different methods, I may not have continued.
- Can help you lose your pregnancy weight- With a well balanced healthy variety of foods and plenty of water, breastfeeding can help lose that baby fat a little bit faster. You can start to exercise after the 6 week mark.
- You more than likely wont get your period-Don`t panic! Your not pregnant again. Breastfeeding full-time stops your ovulation and in question you do not get a menstrual period. This can be used as a natural contraceptive if your baby is younger than 6 months old. This is known as Lactational amenorrhoea method (LMA)
- I can have a glass of wine-Finding out I could enjoy a glass of wine again was surprising. A good surprise until I took my first sip in over 9 months. If truth be told it sounded better than it tasted. One or two units will not harm your baby from time to time.
- First time breastfeeding in public is daunting-I was always organised expressing milk, a lot of milk for any day out. I knew a time would come where fatigue would strike and my patience runs out. I remember the fear of “Where am I going to go”? ,”What about if people stare”? “Lets just head back to the car I would speak. My partner recommended a small cafe and to keep out of sight in the corner. He knew i was really worried about it but still put a smile on my face by joking and cheering me up. Once I settled, holding my baby in my arms and seeing her enjoying her feed.I forgot about where I was and all the people who were staring. I’ve accomplished breastfeeding in public and find it effortless at this stage.
- Very rewarding especially with support-I am so very grateful for my partner, family and friends who have encouraged and supported me through this. Occasionally it was not as easy as it seemed, but looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. I enjoy these special moments with my baby and partner, who motivates and helps me a lot.
- You can save money-I am shocked to see the price of formula milk and wonder how much I could sell mine for. I’m saving money here for more nappies and water wipes.
- Its okay to ask for help-I was hesitant to get help. Everyone around me supporting me, my family, friends, doctors and nurses. Encouraging me and telling me to call a breastfeeding support group and recommending certain people who they think could help me. In my mind I was the only one who could do this, I was too headstrong. I was wrong. Realizing this a little while after gave me the determination to start this blog. Maybe I can help young women in Ireland, support and encourage them. Let them know its okay and that there are a lot of positives rather than all the backlash and negativity circulating in our country.
Thankyou for taking the time to read my ten breasfeeding tips,tricks and facts that I did not know until I started nursing. If you have any questions or queiries, please do not hesitate to contact me through email. I am more than happy to help. Asking a question will get you an answer and the help you need.