Many moms have a great desire to breastfeed their baby as long as possible. But often, they run into obstacles right off the bat and don’t know how to navigate those issues. Every mama needs a little breastfeeding help from time to time, so you are not alone!
No matter what stage of mommy-hood you are living in, if you have older kids, if you’ve been successful with breastfeeding in the past… every mom needs a little support in the area of breastfeeding.
We all want to be naturals, we all want it to be easy, but the reality is there is a lot that goes into successfully breastfeeding your baby!
So, if you are having troubles, if you are feeling like this whole breastfeeding business it too hard, that you’re just not cut out for it… stop what you’re doing and go through these 5 steps before you throw in the towel!
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When I first started breastfeeding my son, I had no idea what I was doing. I just figured that my natural instincts would kick in and that everything would go smoothly without any hiccups… boy was I in for it!
Fortunately I had some veteran breastfeeding mamas around me to help point me in the right direction. Here are a few of the steps that helped me successfully breastfeed for 2 years (and counting) that will help you too.
Note: They are in no particular order. Read through them and do them in whatever order makes sense to you!
Reach out to other breastfeeding moms in your area. You can do this via Facebook quite easily! Just search “breastfeeding moms of YOURCITY” and you will likely find at least one group you can join.
If you live in a smaller city you might search the nearest major city… or try “crunchy moms of YOURCITY”.
Not only will this give you a place to vent when things are hard, but it’s also a valuable resource for you to troubleshoot issues that you are seeing.
Watch the documentary “Breastmilk”. It’s not a “how to” movie at all, but it will help you see that everyone is different on this breastfeeding journey.
I watched it when my son was about 3 weeks old and I’m SO glad I did! It really helped me normalize the idea of breastfeeding as I was the only one in my family to attempt it in 3 generations. Everyone else had been formula fed, so I had no family help (though they did support me).
Contact a lactation consultant. Many times a bad experience with breastfeeding comes down to a bad latch. It’s no ones fault and can be fixed pretty easily!
Even if there’s not really anything wrong, but you just need to make sure that you’re doing everything right, they have the expertise to let you know that everything is fine and whether you need breastfeeding help or not.
Contact your local branch of La Leche League. These woman are champions for breastfeeding! They are a support grounp and a resource all rolled into one and I highly recommend joining your local chapter.
They can also help you find a lactation consultant if step three falls flat for you.
Read Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Breastfeeding. If you’re even a little bit crunchy, you may have heard her name as a natural birth guru. Not only does she help bring babies into the world, but she has a lot of really great information in other areas as well, including breastfeeding!
I have her book and it is so packed with information on how to succeed at breastfeeding that I learn something new every time I crack it open!
In addition to encouragement that you really can be successful with breastfeeding, she gives real practical information on nursing holds, how to achieve a good latch, and more.
Reach out and join a community and know that you are not along in your breastfeeding journey!