I remember when I had my son; I wanted to breastfeed exclusively, and the postpartum time was overwhelming at times. I remember not having time to eat, not having time to sleep, not having time to even take a shower! This is the beauty of newborns – they love you even if you are smelly and look like a sleep deprived “mombie.”
Newborns are also known to want to breastfeed frequently which is a very natural and healthy thing to do. Breastfeeding on demand is the path to an excellent milk production and a satisfied baby.
Maternal support during the postpartum stage is key for breastfeeding success. Here are a few tips to make things easier.
- Recruit help: family and friends can help you with shopping, cleaning, and doing chores. Freezing food ahead of time or organizing a meal train is a great way to have nourishing meals ready for the first weeks.
- Wellness baskets and baby stations (with diapers, wipes, clean onesies) around the house make things easier. Having a breastfeeding pillow, nutritious snacks, and water available can make a huge difference in your wellbeing.
- Go with the flow! Don’t count or obsess about how much time your baby is at the breast. Maybe have Netflix ready to watch if you think your baby might be going through a growth spurt. Put your feet up, get your favorite blanket, do skin to skin and cancel everything else!
- Make an appointment with a CPCMG lactation consultant – they are ready to support you and are an amazing source of information.
- Rest as much as you can. Take small naps during the day. It is important to ask for help. Sleeping is necessary for our mental health. Ask your partner, your support person, hire a nanny or a doula to take care of the baby for a few hours while you sleep. Resting can help your milk production. Oxytocin (the milk release hormone) will be flowing if you are less stressed and have a little bit of shut eye.
- Baby wearing is also a great way to calm baby and have your hands free. Take a stroll and get some sunshine and fresh air!
- Go to breastfeeding/chestfeeding support groups! Sharing common challenges and wins, being able to vent and making new friends is so important! Many women find that these groups are just what they need to feel motivated and keep breastfeeding.
Please know that giving your baby breastmilk is an amazing gift. Having the right support can help you have a more loving and positive start to your breastfeeding journey. Do not be afraid to ask for help! If you are interested in speaking with one of our lactation consultants, ask your baby’s CPCMG primary care provider for a referral.