Breastfeeding isn’t always for every mother. It takes work, and it takes dedication and sometimes (like me) there are sacrifices you have to make in order to be successful with breastfeeding.
For example, I LOVE dairy products. LOVE LOVE LOVE milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. Well a few weeks into my breastfeeding journey I realized my baby girl was getting the worst bellyaches from the milk protein in my system. I knew right away that I couldn’t give up breastfeeding. So, I gave up dairy instead. But I have found many different non-dairy substitutions for all the things I love (Ben & Jerry’s even makes a non-dairy ice cream! Eeeek!)
Anyways, back into some of the basics of breastfeeding, breastmilk, etc.
I hope that if you choose to breastfeed, you have the support from the people around you like I do. That’s the first step. You have to be comfortable with doing it. You can choose to cover (or not). I choose not to cover, but there are ways (with practice) to master the art of nursing without exposing your nipple for the world to see. Luckily, I am confident enough in myself that I nurse in public and don’t care about anyone else’s opinion. Breastfeeding is literally what our bodies are MADE TO DO.
If feeding your infant is offensive to someone- they have the problem, not you.
Breastmilk is literally liquid gold.
During pregnancy, your body starts making what is called “colostrum” almost right away. You won’t likely see it until you give birth and the baby gets this colostrum (unless your an overproducer like a friend of mine, and myself). I started leaking milk around 36ish weeks. It wasn’t much so don’t worry you won’t soak through your shirt or anything.
I knew right away that I wanted to breastfeed when I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t afford formula (I was already on my own at that point), and plus I wanted the bond with my baby. I reached out to anyone and everyone I could to get enough information and make sure I could be successful in my breastfeeding journey. Reach out to your local Women, Infant and Children (WIC) office. Most of them should have a breastfeeding peer counselor. I found an amazing counselor that I talked to when I was less than 3 months pregnant. She gave me so much good information.
Breastmilk has all that good nutrient stuff that is so beneficial for you and for your baby. It has so much more than formula (although my motto is “fed is best” so I’m happy with either route you take). It has all the nutrients and antibodies, antigens, etc. to make your baby get a really good start on nutrition. It can reduce the baby’s risk of type 1 diabetes, childhood obesity, sickness, etc. It is nature’s own antibiotic.