Let’s be honest, we all had our fair share of anxiety prior to our first breastfeeding experience – “What if it runs out?”, “What if my milk is not nutritious?”, “Should I just go for formula?”, “What if it hurts?!”, and so on.
Yes, it is a scary experience but also a fulfilling one. Knowing that your child is nourished by something that comes from you makes you feel more motherly, that you’re able to provide something valuable to the one you love.
I was lucky that I had my friends to guide me through the process, but there are still some things I wish I knew when I first started out. So if it’s your first time breastfeeding, here are 5 things that you should take note of.
It will be uncomfy – Our babies are constantly hungry, therefore they breastfeed frequently, and as you know our nipples are one of the most sensitive body parts we have so it is normal that it will feel tender after several instances of breastfeeding. At first, there will be even times that it hurts as your baby is not yet accustomed to breastfeeding and might suck or even bite too hard. The key is practice – give yourself and your baby a few weeks to get used to breastfeeding and the discomfort should naturally go away.
Moisturize with purified lanolin – Lanolin is a god sent cream to us mums. After a few hours of breastfeeding, it is natural that the nipples and the area surrounding it will start to dry out and chafe. A quick fix would be to rub purified lanolin all over the affected area as it helps to moisturize and prevent excessive drying of our skin. Alternatively, rub some breastmilk may help too!
Always stay hydrated – As obvious as it sounds – your body needs sufficient nutrients to be able to produce the best quality breastmilk. Sometimes we become too busy doing motherly stuff that we forget to eat and drink. Less food/water = fewer nutrients for our body = Less nutritious milk = grumpy baby, and you don’t want that, right?
Ask for guidance – No, reading all the maternity/baby books out there just won’t cut it. You know the best way to learn? Ask your mom, sister, or friend that has already gone through it. Can’t find a comfortable position to breastfeed? Ask your friend to demonstrate it to you. Sure, there are video tutorials online but it’s different when someone is mentoring you through the process. And ALWAYS try to involve your hubby when possible, make him feel part of the team. Even if he seems to get irritated now, he will appreciate that in the future, trust me. Last but not least, seek help from lactation consultants.
Invest in quality Nursing Bras – As it comes with pregnancy, our breasts naturally undergo rapid physical changes. And with these rapid changes, the bras that we wear should ALWAYS provide comfort and breathability to our breasts especially because they are more sensitive now than pre-pregnancy. For ultra-breathable bras that offer comfort for mummies, you may check out the Lovemère Nursing Bra Series – you’ll thank us later ;)