Before I got pregnant, when I was researching pregnancy and babies like a mad woman, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. At that time, I didn’t know the ins and outs of nursing, but I knew that my breastmilk would be specially formulated for my child and nursing was also beneficial for me as far as leveling out horomones, bonding with baby and getting my body back.
I intentionally wanted to wait until James Michael was 6 months old to write about breastfeeding. I wanted to have a little experience under my belt before sharing my thoughts on it. As I began writing the intial post, I realized I have quite a lot to say on the subject, so I’ve decided to do a series of breastfeeding posts. I hope that they provide insight to any pregnant mamas out there looking for personal breastfeeding experiences.
If I have any male readers, this might be a topic series you’ll want to skip. Then again, if your wife is pregnant or you’re wanting a child soon, this might prove insightful for you.
If you have any topics you’d like me to cover in the series, reply in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m definitely no expert, but I am willing to share my experiences and what’s worked for me.
At this point, I’m planning to focus on these topics:
- The first 48 hours
- 0-3 months
- 3-6 months
- pumping at work
- breastfeeding gear
And I’ll leave you with a couple pieces of advice that I found helpful:
Set a goal.
Set a breastfeeding goal now, before you get pregnant or before you deliver. Despite hoping to nurse my child for the first year, when I was pregnant, I set a personal goal to breastfeed for 6 months. I told myself that once I reached that goal, I could reset the goal to a year. (And that’s exactly what I’ve done now that James Michael is 6 months old.) But by making my initial goal attainable, it took a lot of the pressure off me, especially knowing that half of those first 6 months I’d be on maternity leave.
Find a circle of support.
James and I were the first of our group of friends to have a baby, so I didn’t have any close girlfriends I could reach out to for advice. But luckily, I found support from other women. One mother of a toddler at James’ gym has let me ask her all sorts of questions about babies and breastfeeding. Also, a woman I graduated high school with has offered me great support and encouragement via Facebook. We were friendly in high school, but not close friends. But there’s something about becoming a mother that makes you do everything you can to see that all mothers succeed in accomplishing their goals. Whether they realize it or not, these two women have helped me get through tough days.
If you can’t find women for support in your personal circle, there are plenty online who you can look to for advice and encouragement. Baby Center offers some great discussion boards, especially for breastfeeding moms. Recently, I saw a post from a mom with a newborn who questioned if she could continue nursing. Many of the members rallied around her in support, letting her know what she’s feeling is normal and offering her tips and encouragement.
Stay tuned for a post on my experience breastfeeding during the first 48 hours after birth.