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Breastfeeding 101: Here’s What You Should Know

Written by Austin Ross


Posted on April 15 2019

Not sure whether to breastfeed?

Every woman is different and how you feed your baby is absolutely, 100% your choice.

Nobody else’s. People will try to tell you that they know best. They don’t. It’s your body. It’s your baby. It’s your decision.  You have read that breast is best and there's plenty of data out there to back that up, but, sometimes people make other choices for their own reasons and that is what is best for their baby and that is the right thing for them and their child. (Can you tell we're sick of all the judging and shaming?)

If you do want to go down the breastfeeding route, here's all you need  to know.  Again, there's loads more info out there, but, here's the "need to know" basics for breastfeeding.

Oh, and let's just get this out of the way: pumping is the least sexy thing that you will ever do.  You get over that.

Ready, Set, Nurse!

It’s not an exam but doing some basic prep will make life easier for breastfeeding. It could be worth investing in a few nursing pieces, such as a some tops and bras ahead of time. Having these things in your wardrobe will make nursing discreetly way easier to do- without exposing your entire body, which can decrease stress levels, and that can be a very good thing.

To pump or not to pump..

That is the question-that you don't have to answer now!  It has zip to do with being noble. If you're going back to work away from baby then you may decide to pump. Right now, you may not know whether you will want to pump milk or not. With that in mind, you may want to hold off investing in a breast pump. You can always get one later down the line when you’ve made that decision. Save your cash and wait to see what happens. 

If you do pump, hospital grade pumps will get more milk for less time, so,you should at least consider renting one of  those-we're a pick up point for Day One in Palo Alto. And,, we have only heard buzz, for years, but definitely check out the Willow pump-looks amazing.

It might hurt like hell.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. The first few times you try to breastfeed, you might just find that it hurts like hell. You’ve probably heard other mamas refer to this as ‘tenderness,’ but let’s be real. It’s painful. The thing that you need to remember here is that this is not going to last forever. In just a few days, you won’t be so sensitive.

When your little one latches properly, you should find that the pain gets less and less noticeable. Before you even know it, you’ll be breastfeeding away like it’s no big deal. Because it is no big deal… once you get the hang of it.

If the pain continues, do not suffer, contact a lactation consultant, move to formula, do whatever it takes to relieve the pain.  Your baby deserves a not stressed, not in pain mother.

Nurture yourself first.

eat healthy

What you eat, your baby eats. Okay, not exactly, but your body is providing your little one’s food source right now. So, you need to nurture your body as much as possible. Taking your supplements and eating well is just common sense. You want to make sure that the milk you’re producing is top-notch. Your baby deserves nothing less.

Oh, and don’t forget that you need to eat a little more than usual. BabyCenter advises that breastfeeding moms should eat around 500 calories more than they otherwise would. That could be an extra salad, some tasty yogurt and berries, or even a snack. It’s all good.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

bpa free water bottles

Keeping hydrated when you’re breastfeeding is essential to both your well-being and your baby’s too. Not drinking enough water? You’re making a huge mistake. Leave a water bottle in every room in the house.  Seriously. Get water bottles with straws, not twist caps.  Time is relative and when you have a newborn, suddenly you have no time, and you may just not drink water if it takes time to unscrew a cap. We know.  We sound nuts  trust us. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go… and don’t forget to top up every now and then.

You may not feel thirsty, but your body needs that liquid so keep it coming.

You can breastfeed and use formula and use bottles

baby bottles

The two are not mutually exclusive. There is no shame in feeding your baby.  So, if you want to feed your baby formula, go right ahead and do it. Formula is more expensive.  On the other hand, it really depends upon your perspective on that cost thing- breast feeding costs a lot of time!!   You're call.  You're the boss mom.) For a number of reasons many moms supplement with formula.

The reason is no one else's business-sometimes it's because baby is not getting the nutrition they need from breastfeeding, some babes simply cannot learn to latch on, some moms hate pumping, some moms don't have time to pump, some moms are busy.  If you’ve made the decision to breastfeed but are short on time, there is an option out there for you. You can absolutely use formula as well. You should know that doing so may mean that your milk production slows down a little. It happens – don’t panic about it.  It's all good mama.

Plus mixing these two feeding options means that you don’t always need to be there when your baby needs to feed. Phew! Sometimes, the other parent or a friend can take the reigns and give it a go too. Actually, many a non-birth parent love the opportunity to share in the feeding.  Remember, it’s important to consult with your doctor when making this decision. Talk to them and they can help you figure out what works for you. Simple.

It might not work

And if breastfeeding does not work, this is not a crisis, and it most certainly does not make you a bad mother. 

We have heard more stories from tortured, weepy, overwhelmed mothers trying desperately to nurse, and in the end, what is best for mom and baby is feeding baby-not where the food comes from!

The odds are with you on this one, the majority of women who decide to nurse succeed.

Like about everything else about being a mom, this one can be easy, or it can be hard  Every body and every baby is different. 



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