The first few weeks of breastfeeding are the toughest. Neither you nor your baby know what you’re doing, and it’s during this period that your child will be at his most demanding (feeding-wise, anyway). Here are some tips from Romper and The Humbled Homemaker to make these first few months breeze by quicker and easier.
1. Find support
If you need help figuring things out, reach out to a lactation consultant who has the expertise you need. You can also talk to other nursing moms who can not only give you pointers, but also encourage you with their own war stories.
2. Prepare for sleepless nights
There is no going around the fatigue that comes with breastfeeding a newborn, so try to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for exhaustion. And keep in mind that this too shall pass. It won’t be long before your little one will be able to sleep through the night.
3. Don’t listen to the haters
Don’t let yourself be discouraged when people tell you to quit and just feed your child formula* or if people mock you for having a hard time breastfeeding. Listen to the advice with a grain of salt and just do what is best for you and your baby.
*Not that feeding your baby formula is a terrible thing, but you shouldn’t ever feel pressured into that decision.
4. Remember to refuel
Because your body is literally producing food for another human being, your appetite is probably huge. Listen to your body by eating frequent small and healthy meals, and remember to stay hydrated.
5. Get help
A solid support system can go a long way. Let your friends help by letting them bring you snacks, tell your partner how he can best help you, let your folks stay over for a week or two to help you figure things out. Don’t feel guilty for needing help or let yourself feel that you’re hassling other people.
6. Make yourself comfortable
Prepare for breastfeeding by getting a nice rocking chair. Buy a breastfeeding pillow that will help you support your baby easier. Listen to audiobooks or watch movies that will help you enjoy the whole process.
7. Love yourself
Though it’s easy to beat yourself up when things aren’t going as smoothly as you thought, don’t be so hard on yourself. Believe in yourself and keep in mind that things will get better over time. Be patient; even though it doesn’t seem like it, you’ve totally got this.
READ: 7 Simple survival tips for new moms
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