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The Struggles of Breastfeeding and the Big Rewards That Follow!

As a breastfeeding mama who has nursed all 3 of my children and a Registered Nurse previously working on The Birthplace before ultimately deciding to be a stay at home mom, I have a lot of experience with breastfeeding. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 5 years of my life! I nursed my two oldest children until they were a year old and I am currently still nursing my 9 month old, Carson.

With breastfeeding come many struggles for some Moms. I have been fortunate enough to have a good milk supply and babies that have had a great latch. I think my experience as an RN helping moms nurse their newborns really prepared me for nursing my own kids. I watched many Moms struggle and my encouragement was always to just give it a few weeks and there would be big rewards in store! If you are a Mom struggling to breastfeed your baby there are so many resources available to you! Tap in to your local lactation consultant for some one on one personalized help and advice! You may be modest and the thought of nursing up close and personal with a complete stranger helping you might freak you out a little but realize that they do this every day and it won’t phase them a bit! After giving birth you are probably familiar with having to give up some of your modesty in order to get that beautiful baby 🙂 The benefits of a visit with a lactation consultant will be totally worth it!

My Top 10 Tips For Breastfeeding Success!

  1. Stick with it! Don’t give up on breastfeeding. It really DOES get easier. You and your baby will both learn how to do it together and once you get the hang of it it’s a breeze!
  2. Attitude is everything! If you are always thinking that you won’t be good at breastfeeding or that you just can’t do it then you are setting yourself up for failure. Start out with a can do attitude and the rest will follow.
  3. Get a good nursing bra. You will need a really comfy bra for your first weeks home when your milk is first coming in and your supply is fluctuating as it learns how much your baby needs. Good support and comfort are key.
  4. They tell you that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. I’ll be honest with you that the first 2 weeks are the worst. As your nipples are getting used to feeding a baby they can be painful and sore, especially when you let down. This has been my experience with all three of my babies. I would curl my toes every time they first latched because it hurt so much. After a couple of weeks my body was used to it and it no longer hurt. You should not have open sores though and you should ensure that your baby is latching properly so they aren’t causing abnormal pain or discomfort. Use lanolin cream and cooled gel pads to ease discomfort. Stick with it through this transition time and it will eventually become enjoyable!
  5. Know the signs of a problem and when to seek help. If you have redness on your breast, a fever and intense pain with nursing then visit your doctor immediately. Mastitis is an infection in the breast and will elicit these symptoms. I have had it three times and it is no fun. Catching it early is key! You will be started on antibiotics and it will get better quickly.
  6. Unless your doctor recommends it then don’t supplement with formula. After working on the Birthplace I saw so many new parents that thought their baby wasn’t getting enough breastmilk in the first few days and wanted to give formula. Your breastmilk is enough and it was specifically designed for baby. They don’t need formula until your milk comes in. Their little tummy is tiny and your colostrum is sufficient for them. Once you start giving them formula you are setting yourself up for failure. Focus on your breastfeeding and baby will be learning the basics of nursing rather than switching from bottle to breast and trying to master them all.
  7. Your first few days at home will be filled with visitors who are excited about the new baby. Don’t be afraid to tell them that it’s time to nurse your baby. Whether you need to leave the room or use a nursing cover, take your baby and nurse. Don’t wait until the baby is frantically hungry because you didn’t want to take him away from Grandma 🙂 If you wait until he or she is beside himself with hunger then it will be difficult to nurse and you will both be frustrated.
  8. Talk with your significant other about breastfeeding. Inform him of the benefits to you and the baby and tell him that you’d like his support. Just because you are nursing doesn’t mean that Dad can’t ever feed your baby. Pump and let him bottle feed the baby after you’ve mastered nursing (usually best to introduce a bottle after nursing is going well around 4-6 weeks).
  9. If you plan on spending much time away from your baby then you will need to pump your milk. Buy a good double electric breast pump so that you can keep up your supply and your baby will reap the benefits of your breastmilk even while you are away from him/her.
  10. Enjoy it! After those first couple of difficult weeks learning and adjusting to nursing, it becomes such a wonderful experience. Enjoy the bonding time with your infant. These precious moments each day go by too quickly and you should cherish the quiet moments spent with your infant. As Carson gets older these moments are few and far between. My favorite time of day is when he first nurses in the morning. This is when he spends the most time nursing and he is just relaxed and snuggly which is something I don’t get out of him too often anymore! Eat it all up!!

As a breastfeeding Mom I have tried many different nursing bras and let me tell you that fit is SO important! You absolutely need to have a comfortable nursing bra. This is especially critical in the first weeks after delivery as your breasts will be changing and your milk will come in and there will be a level of discomfort at times. You want to be cradled and supported in a good nursing bra. My all time favorite nursing bra EVER is the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. It’s absolutely like wearing pajamas! I first was introduced to the bra when I was pregnant with Aiden and since then I’ve fallen in love with it and bought several more so I now own one in each color 🙂 You’ll live in it the first months following your delivery.

Having a nice nursing wardrobe really makes breastfeeding easier, especially when you are out and about. I am loving the new Bravado Tiger Lily Essential Nursing Tank because it doesn’t look like a nursing tank and it fits so well. It’s long enough to be worn alone and perfect for layering. My other favorite pick is the Bravado Original Nursing Bra. It can be worn 24/7 in those first weeks home and you’ll be comfortable as it supports your changing shape.

The rewards of breastfeeding are huge. You are feeding your baby the best possible nourishment for him or her and you are doing it for free! Breastfeeding is also a big calorie burner so it will help you get back in shape even faster. It’s a wonderful bonding time between you and baby that nothing else can replicate. It is so convenient too. No bottles to warm up in the middle of the night or worrying about where to warm a bottle when you are on the go. It’s quick and convenient! The benefits are far reaching and so worth the struggle it may take to get there!

Bravado wants to help you in your journey to breastfeeding success so they are offering up an Original Nursing Bra, Breastfeeding DVD and Nursing Pads to one lucky reader. Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win! (If you can’t see the entry form then click on the post title to be taken to a dedicated page where it will appear). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*This post was not compensated. I was provided product for review to facilitate this post. My opinions are my own.

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  1. I also think the Bliss Nursing Bra looks good. It comes in the size that I would need, and definitely looks more comfortable than what I'm wearing right now! In fact, I just looked up where there's a retailer in my town, and I think I'll have to go there and check it out soon 🙂

  2. I won't be the one using it but this one looks nice:

  3. THE BODY SILK SEAMLESS NURSING BRA looks really nice to me

    jmooth1 at lsu dot edu

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