What if I stopped trying after a few days because my child is refusing to breastfeed? What if I stopped after a few weeks because my back is killing me and my operation wounds are still hurting? What if I stopped after a few months because taking care of a newborn and breastfeeding can drain your energy?
I would never know the answers to those because I refused to stop. The outcome? My child is healthy as a horse, always laughing and bouncing around the house. Through breastfeeding, I get to have this special bond with my son. I would look at him while his nursing and he would look up at me and smile. Now he knows how to communicate so he touches my face or he would say "mommy".
I guess I was blessed because I get to have enough milk to breastfeed him while others kept on trying but failed to for some reason. There is no need to feel guilty if you can't breastfeed your child because of low milk supply or because he won't accept your milk or just because you have to go back to work to support the family.
If you really plan on breastfeeding your baby after birth, you have to start working on it while pregnant. So here are a few of the thing I did and I hope it will help you somehow.
- Eat healthy and drink plenty. I know that while pregnant we have to watch out for our weight but it doesn't mean we cannot eat what we want. Eat lots of veggies and drink plenty of water. Have a glass or two of milk, I used to drink Anmum. I don't like water very much but I take sips every now and then to compensate.
- Read books on breastfeeding. Aside from the tips and tricks, you will also learn a lot from other moms. Their disappointments and persistence to breastfeed, this will let you know that you are not the only one who goes through these. It's just a matter of mindset.
- Take supplements given by your OB. I know some of us tend to forget to drink our daily vitamins, me especially. But when I got pregnant, I make it a point to remind myself. I save alarms on my phone and I write it on post-its where I can see it.
After giving birth, don't expect your milk to flow instantly. For me, it took 3 days. If you need to go back to work but really wants to breastfeed, pump your milk before going to work so the baby could drink those later on and breastfeed him/her at night or after work. Some are frustrated especially when their milk stops 2 to 3 months after. Just a few tips that might work for you as well.
- Breastfeed your baby as often as he/she wants. If your baby sleeps for more than 2-3 hours, you could pump.
- Eat whenever you are hungry. Feeling hungry is a signal that your body needs food and liquid to produce more milk so don't hesitate to eat every time you feel hungry. Try to drink water after nursing your baby. Newborns can nurse for a long time so you could chew on some biscuits if you want.
- Relax. Having a baby is very stressful so every time your baby is asleep, take a nap or just lie down for 30 minutes before doing things that you need to do.