By: Anna Katrina J. Bolivar
Breast milk is also known as ‘liquid gold’. It is the best source of nutrition for our newborn because of its valuable nutritional content. Aside from nutritional content, the act of breastfeeding also contributes to your newborns physical, mental, social, and emotional development. See why it’s called liquid gold?
Breastfeeding is also economical. The cost of formula milk can eat up your budget, which could instead be allotted for the monthly vaccination of your newborn. It’s also less hassle, as the mommy just have to pull up her shirt and let the baby latch. No need to prepare sterilized bottles, water, and scoop up milk.
Upon knowing that I am pregnant, I made it clear to my husband that I want to breastfeed our baby. That is a non-negotiable for me. I have several friends now who are pregnant with their babies are asking me for some advice on breastfeeding. It melts my heart when people seek your advice on something that you are passionate about. Let me share with you some tips on how I started my breastfeeding journey even before I gave birth.
Have a clear mindset
I think the most important thing to work on is your mindset. Always have your mind set on breastfeeding. Believe that your body can produce a sufficient amount of milk for your newborn. Ever wonder what sustained people during the days when formula milk was not yet available? Yes, breast milk! So yes, it is very natural to breastfeed. Your body will produce milk way more than you can imagine!
If you’re determined to breastfeed your baby, you would want to be informed. Read a lot… I really mean a LOT. Read not just about the benefits of breastfeeding but also about the challenges that breastfeeding moms face. This will prepare you emotionally and mentally. It is true that breastfeeding is not easy. Some moms experience breast engorgement, mastitis, sore nipples, etc. It is important that you are aware of these possible challenges.
Some hospitals and breastfeeding advocate groups conduct classes on breastfeeding. Attend and bring your husband with you. If you’ll be living with your extended family and they are doubtful about your decision to breastfeeding, by all means, bring them along!
Relay it to your village
It is also important that everyone in the household knows about your decision to breastfeed your baby. I know some mothers who are consistently discouraged by other family members in breastfeeding their newborns. Other family members would even sneakily give formula milk when the mother is not around.
Such instances would only lead to conflict and give the mother mental stress, which is not good for a breastfeeding mom. Therefore, it is important to make it clear to everyone that the new baby will only be getting milk from you. Let them understand the advantages of breastfeeding. Support from your family during your breastfeeding journey is very important. It would give you a sense of peace when everyone is in agreement about breastfeeding your newborn.
Prepare your props
As with bottle-feeding, you might also need to buy things that would help you and your newborn in your breastfeeding journey. Here are some of the items that we bought in preparation for breastfeeding:
- Nursing pillow: Very very helpful. Breastfeeding can sometimes (or most of the time) strain your back, shoulders, and even your neck.
- Nursing cover: Your newborn will have to go out of the house for monthly immunizations so you need to be prepared to breastfeed in public.
- Nursing bras: It is difficult to use a normal nursing bra when breastfeeding because the cup or pad may hinder the baby from getting a good latch.
- Nursing tops: It will be less hassle for moms to use shirts/blouses that offer easy nursing access.
- Breast pump: To stock-up milk for your newborn when you need to leave for an errand or for when you have to go back to work
- Breast milk bag: To store your extracted breast milk
- Bottles/feeding cups: For feeding when mommy is not around
Okay, this is quite lengthy now. Sorry for keeping you, I got carried away. I am really passionate about breastfeeding and I want to share as much information as I can. Currently, my baby is turning 30 months and she is still breastfeeding. She has rarely been sick and I believe that breastfeeding has really helped a lot in her developmental milestones. Let’s do this, mommas!
Anna Katrina Bolivar is a first-time mom to a baby girl. She’s a stay-at-home, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and cosleeping mom. She has her own blog. Despite all the challenges of a stay-at-home mom, she always goes to sleep with a heart that is overflowing with love for the Lord, her husband, and their precious little girl.