I’ve breastfed three kids in my life so far. And with each kid, I learn a little more. As friends join me in this motherhood club, I’m occasionally asked for nursing advice. Most of the time I can keep it on topic, but sometimes I go off on a tangent of things I wish I would have known the first time. So here’s a short list of my unsolicited breastfeeding advice …
I’m not really sure there’s any science here, but this little bit of advice pops up on every breast feeding mommy group around! Maybe it’s just that blue Powerade is the best flavor out there. Or maybe because it’s easier to guzzle than water can be at times and that helps you stay hydrated. And let’s face it, hydration is a HUGE key in a successful breastfeeding journey.
Despite the odd sounding name, these cookies are not made from your lactation; they are chock full of goodness that helps production. Recipes vary, but with brewers yeast, flax seed, oatmeal, and best of all CHOCOLATE — sign me up! These are tasty and super filling, a great snack any new mom can scarf down in the midst of newbie chaos. A delicious way to get in the calories breastfeeding moms need with the ease of raiding the cookie jar — win, win! Here are some of my favorites, sometimes we even add craisins, almonds, or dried cherries for a little decadence!
All. The. Water. Bottles.
The moment, and I mean THE moment that sweet baby latches, your mouth turns into the Sahara in it’s driest spell! Take a bag of cotton balls and put them all in your mouth and you’ll get an idea of this sensation. Have water bottles EVERYWHERE you plan on nursing because even with this step, you’ll find they’re never where you need them! Hydration, hydration, hydration! Having water bottles scattered around will also help you drink all that water your body will need. We’re talking drink till you float away and then drink some more.
Know About Tongue & Lip Ties
There are a lot of things that can sideline your breastfeeding journey (not producing enough, not hydrating enough, not being informed). One of the many causes that come in this sideline are tongue & lip ties. These issues can cause your baby to have shallow latch resulting in an inability to nurse as they should. This can be a cause for your baby not to gain weight as needed, find a certified lactation consultant or a speech therapist and get your baby evaluated. If ties are the issue, the fix is quick and road to recovery is way better than struggling with the unknowns!
Do It For YOU
Here’s the thing, the whole point of motherhood is doing what is best for you and baby. The research is out there, you’ve done it. You get to take the next steps with it. Breastfeeding has its list of attributes, but it needs to benefit everyone. You may be providing your baby with all kinds of nutrients but if your mental health is suffering, you need to know it’s okay to make other arrangements. I was really lucky in production (like dairy cow status) but I had friends that weren’t so lucky. And it’s hard. It’s hard to want to do something so badly and then not be able to. Surround yourself with people that will not only encourage you, but will also keep your best interest at heart. Breastfeeding is a journey for you and the baby, don’t let other people’s opinions interfere here. Now more than ever your mental health is important; feed that baby and get self care where you can.