During pregnancy, many moms-to-be make the decision that they want to breastfeed. When the moment finally arrives after childbirth, some realize the difficulty of this facet of nurturing. Breastfeeding is a natural, innate act between a mother and her baby, yet that doesn’t mean the pursuit always comes naturally.
Fortunately, lactation consultants can assist with the learning process and answer any questions nursing mothers have along the way. Here is a list of things that lactation consultants want you to know to meet your breastfeeding goals successfully.
Find and Establish a Support System
The most common breastfeeding dilemma that new mothers face is a lack of support. Breastfeeding is a distinctly personal experience—one that involves an evolving relationship with your body, your mind, and your child. Yet, you don’t have to go through the venture of oscillating between joy and struggle alone.
Surround yourself with people who can cheer you on and provide a steady foundation of encouragement, advice, knowledge, and support, such as your partner, family members, friends, or healthcare professionals. Seek out breastfeeding support groups, other mothers in your life, or expert lactation leaders to accompany you in your personal journey. Community and connection can truly go a long way.
Proper Feeding and Pumping Is a Learned Art
Another thing that lactation consultants want you to know is that practice is essential for new breastfeeding mothers. Both breastfeeding and pumping are learned arts. The only way to improve these arts is simply with practice. Some mothers and babies need more guidance, instruction, or time to achieve a positive lactation experience.
Remember, everyone has an opinion. Keep in mind that you know your own body and baby better than anyone else. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the learning curve. If you face difficulties, don’t fret or overthink the matter. To boost breast milk supply, you may need to go back to the basics or seek out external support that considers the whole picture.
Trust the Process: Obstacles Have a Resolution
In the early days, with their fluctuating ups and downs, feeling doubt is common. How can you best overcome this apprehension? Remember that human beings are not robots. To be human is to be vulnerable. New mothers must accept the vulnerability that comes with the process.
Numerous variables could be causing obstacles in breastfeeding, yet the good news is that most of these problems—latching, positioning, etc.—have resolutions. Trust the process, follow natural cues, address any challenges that require troubleshooting early on, and reach out for expert consultation, and you will likely find a solution that is right for your family.