Don't worry at all. Just read and know things well in advance so that your mind and body is prepared. Your baby and you will get the hang of it eventually. The more you are positive & patient, the more it's going to be easy for you to face these challenges. Remember, all this is temporary and best for your baby's future. Apart from helping your baby grow well mentally and physically, breastfeeding helps you burn calories and lose pregnancy weight faster. The hormone "oxytocin" helps in uterine contraction helping the uterus reach its pre pregnancy size faster. It also reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Read about breastfeeding and lactation techniques well in advance. Most mums skip researching on this.
- Know how to feed a baby in different breastfeeding positions according to your comfort. Initially, it may get difficult in the hospital, slowly it will get easier.
- Don't feel shy at all to seek help from nurses, doctors, experienced mothers, family or your partner.
- Make sure your baby gets your first yellowish milk (no matter how little). It’s called colostrum, and is highly nutritious for the newborn.
- Eat right, prefer more hot soups, hot milk & fish. Opt for more of liquids initially. Keep eating as you will feel hungry every time you feed your baby. Don't think of gaining weight at this time, since you are already burning 500 calories a day breastfeeding.
- Avoid smoke, alcohol and cold foods.
- Buy a nice breast pump to store milk. Read about storage rules. Again, don't make this a habit. Fresh is always the best.
- Exclusive breastfeeding upto 6 months is advisable for perfect growth of baby. (Not even water).
- Wear easy and comfortable clothes so that it's easy to feed the baby even while travelling. I made all dresses with buttons.
- Be happy. This will produce more milk.
- My elders advised me to eat while breastfeeding. This will fulfil baby's hunger.
- Feed whenever your baby demands. Sometimes, baby demands less and the breast may swell with pain. You can express out milk at this time. Don't let it swell, it can be very painful and can harden the milk produced.
- Your milk is enough for your baby. Don't let anyone discourage you or blame you that you are not feeding enough.
- Sleep deprivation may cause you to get irritable and frustrated. Be patient and know that your baby will sleep well after six months. Seek family help in this case. You can pump your milk for the night.
- Please! Don't fall asleep while feeding, especially in the night. You never know your baby might get choked. Make sure they breathe well while feeding.
- You can stop breastfeeding gradually whenever you like or can continue upto whenever you are comfortable. This is a personal call.
- Don't panic if you feel some leaks. This is normal when the baby hasn't been fed for long hours or even when you feel emotional. You can use breast pads in this case.
- You will notice an increase in size of your breasts. Shop one size bigger well in advance. They will get back to normal once you stop feeding.
- No offence here to those mommies who never breastfeed their babies. It's a personal choice and you are doing a great job already.
- You can also go for breastfeeding counseling if you need to, it is always best to consult an expert if you're facing some issues.
A little struggle & some extra patience is all that you need. And this is not only for moms but daddies too. Daddies need to be more patient as mommies tend to get the most irritated and moody at these times. Please try to keep them happy always.