10 Things You Need to Help You Through Your Breastfeeding Journey

When I first got pregnant I had no idea what breastfeeding would be like. I just assumed it was a way I would feed my baby but didn’t even consider the difficulties or support a mother needed to get through that journey!

Now 3 children later, I STILL ask for tips/help sometimes. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful thing to be able to do but it also has it’s challenges. From the initial latch struggles, to the fatigue from nursing through the night, and just having to be there on demand to breastfeed. Nonetheless there are many ways to make it work well for you through the 2 years (or less or more depending on your situation). Here are 10 things that can help you through your journey.

1. A Strong Mindset

With each baby, the breastfeeding experience will be different. You supply will vary, it might hurt more or less, you might get tired more or less, your baby might keep you up all night and so on. There’s so much that goes into breastfeeding your baby that it is a super sensitive subject sometimes.

You may get comments like, “wow you are still breastfeeding”, “why don’t you use the bottle instead”, “are you going to nurse again??” just to name a few. Please ignore them. Sometimes you may get looks from people in public when you start to feed (yes even if you have a cover on!). IGNORE! Our bodies were made to do this, you are nourishing your baby and it’s your RIGHT, so don’t let it affect you. I know many women who are so conscious about feeding in public due to issues like this, and it’s really sad because in the end it affects them only.

2. A Support System

I have heard and read about many moms who give up because they don’t have the support they need. If you feel like breastfeeding is not going well, don’t struggle and try to manage it on your own. When you are stressed and frustrated, that will affect your supply. Reach out to a lactation specialist, breastfeeding support group or even your mommy friends who might have some information. If you aren’t having any issues but know of a new mom who might be, check in on her and ask her how it’s going. Reaching out to her gives her the confidence to ask for advice/help with a struggle she is going through.

3. Regular Naps

Being a mother is exhausting in general, so resting is important especially when you are breastfeeding. I always tried to be super mom and not rest but 3 kids later I realized without that one nap per day I turn into Monster Mom, so whenever I can fit it in, even if it means my other 2 kids watch Dora or Daniel Tiger for 30 mins, it will be better for all of us!

4. Gripe Water

I know what you are thinking? I can just burp my baby and change my diet and they won’t have gas. Sometimes even with that, a baby can be super colicky, and honestly only gripe water can save you (Aside from using things like a gas-passer by Frida). Gripe water saved us after 5 weeks of me breaking down crying not knowing how to help my newborn who would keep us all up at night screaming.

5. A Nursing Cover

With all my babies, I have used nursing covers. I nurse in public and also within public/family gatherings and with my 3rd I have used ones with more coverage because as they grow older and more mobile, flashing mama’s boobs becomes a norm!

6. Nipple Cream & Cooling Pads

Stock up on Lanisoh Cream and Medela Cooling Pads. Some moms also use nipple shields temporarily during the first few days after birth to assist with latching. I had a tough first 2 weeks because of the pain from cracked nipples. The Cooling Pads, along with Lanisoh Nipple Cream and Hot showers were what helped me get through that first phase of breastfeeding and helped me heal. Eventually (about 2-3 weeks later) my son’s latch got a lot better and I wasn’t in pain.

7. A Nursing Friendly Wardrobe

I never thought of this before I had my first child. Most of my clothing and none of my bra’s were nursing friendly. Because of the changes in our body it’s best to get a nursing bra around the time you have the baby. Nursing bra’s are so comfortable and also have a clip to help you nurse without ruining the bra cup by constantly pulling it down. With clothing it’s always best to get tops or dresses that have stretchy necklines or zips/buttons. That way you won’t be ruining your clothes.

8. A Baby Carrier

When you are breastfeeding full time, there will be times where you really can’t stop and sit down and nurse. Maybe whilst shopping, during a long walk or when you are just in a rush to cook that meal. Of course you are more than welcome to sit on the floor, but as a mother, time is off the essence so having a baby carrier can save you at times like these. The Ergo has a hood that you can use to cover baby for coverage if you don’t have a nursing cover!

9. A Breast Pump

A common difficulty amongst breastfeeding moms is that they can’t ever leave the baby behind if they go out. I was one of those moms but I didn’t pump nearly enough, so I would struggle at the last minute when I needed to have baby looked after. Something I have heard from several moms that after about 6 weeks it’s a good time to start pumping every day/every few days to start building a stash for when you want to step out or let Baba feed the baby. There is always the concern about the bottle and how it might affect breastfeeding. Whilst every baby is different I can only advise not to introduce a bottle too late. I tried it at 3 months for both my babies but by then they wouldn’t accept it. So play it by ear and try different things, and seek advice from a professional.

10. Nursing Friendly Meals/Snacks

Breastmilk supply also varies from mother to mother and is affected by diet and other factors. It’s important to have nutritious snacks, and meals to help avoid any dips in your supply and the number one thing is to drink enough water. I noticed when I didn’t drink much water, my supply dipped drastically. Things like Oats, Flax Seeds, Nuts, Sweet Potato, Vegetables, Milk and good fats like Avocado.

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Afra, a Mommy Blogger & Influencer at “Through Mama’s Eyes’ is a wife & stay at home mom of 3 (aged 4, 2 & 4 months). She uses her experiences as a mother and an entrepreneur to connect with & support mothers in their journey as new moms, moms with young toddlers and moms who want to work from home. She loves keeping it REAL and talking about managing birth, breastfeeding, managing motherhood, toddler tantrums, teething, baby wearing, life as a work from home mom (previous corporate world workaolic), the best products for babies, to toddlers & moms.

March 26, 2018