Every mother experiences breastfeeding differently. But one thing to be sure of is that it is hard. One might ask: How hard can it be? You give the baby your nipples, they suck the milk out, and that’s all, right? Wrong. There are tremendous things both moms and babies will have to deal with during this journey. Most people will assume that breastfeeding is innate. To a certain extent, it can be. However, there is a lot to learn through trial and error. Luckily, I have been blessed to breastfeed my first son for 27 months without pumping or supplementing formula. Here are the most important 5 things I learned while breastfeeding my son 27 months.
5 Things I Learned While Breastfeeding My Son 27 Months
1. It Takes a Learning Curve
I planned ahead of time to nurse my first baby exclusively. And so, I could never understand the women’s complaints about the procedure until I had to go through it myself. After four hours of trying to breastfeed after delivering my son through C-section, I finally succeeded in getting him to latch. Wow, that was a challenge. I didn’t know how to hold my nipples properly to give the baby the support he needed since he was too little and weak. There is no shame in admitting you don’t know what a good latch is. A newborn’s first step toward nursing is called “latching,” when the infant places their lips on the breast. Successful latching requires that infants put the area around the nipple into their mouths.
Establishing a good latch is essential for babies to consume enough milk and grow normally. Additionally, it aids in draining the breasts, which helps to alleviate any nipple soreness that may have developed.
I understood that the first milk (Colostrum) was crucial when my baby was born. For this reason, I was so adamant about giving the baby its first breast milk. Colostrum is the first stage of breastmilk, secreted by the mammary glands immediately after birth. Due to its nutrient dense and full of antibodies and antioxidants, it aids in developing a newborn’s immune system. It transforms into breast milk during the first several days after delivery. Colostrum is thicker and yellower than breast milk, and both are vicious.
Hence, it was essential for me and the baby to establish the first feeding sessions as soon as possible. Take your time, momma, and never give up.
2. Admit It is Hard
Many challenges, including exhaustion, emotional overload, persistent hunger, fluctuating body weight, nipple cracking, and more, accompanied my nursing experience. Whenever I encountered a new challenge, I felt completely unmotivated and overwhelmed. But I was never one to give up and give in. The concept of hushing had never occurred to me. Considering the psychological aspect, that’s probably how I managed to pump out more milk. Also, babies have difficulty adjusting to this novel mode of consumption. After 9 months of feeding on your umbilical cord for sustenance within your womb, this new intake method is much more challenging and demands them to put some effort in. Knowing this motivated me to work harder while yet taking frequent breaks.
3. The More My Baby Latches, The More Supply I Got
According to my experience, the best thing I did to increase my supply was to get the baby to latch. Feeding more often at night, when Prolactin levels are naturally higher, may help you produce more milk. Feeding your baby may require waking them from sleep if they tend to sleep for extended stretches at a time or are particularly tired overall. However, this approach held for daily feedings as well. Furthermore, I aimed to have an extra calorie intake every day since my body will need it to produce milk. I had an oriental recipe for milk supply increase, which helped me have energy boosts for the first four months.
4. Breastfeeding Gets Easier After 4 Months
Getting the baby to latch on was the most effective thing I did to boost my supply. Your milk supply may improve if you increase feedings at night when Prolactin levels are typically higher. If your baby has a habit of sleeping for long periods at a time or if they are simply extremely weary, you may need to wake them up to feed them. The same approach worked for me throughout the daytime as well. In addition, I made it a point to increase my calorie intake daily since my body would need this additional energy to create milk. During the first four months, I maintained my energy thanks to a recipe I found in an Oriental cookbook that is said to increase milk production.
Thankfully, the baby’s hormones will begin to normalize after 4 months of sleep deprivation and increased milk supply, allowing for at least 5 hours of sleep at night instead of feedings every 2 hours. You’ll finally be able to get some much-needed sleep thanks to this. You’ll have your milk production down pat by then, and breastfeeding will seem more like a habit than a chore.
5. You Will Need Support
A lot of good may come from encouraging mothers to continue being mothers. It is crucial to have encouragement, whether it comes from a spouse, friend, another nursing parent, a blog post, or anything else. Lucky for me, my husband agreed with me that nursing was the best option. Nonetheless, I think you should be proud of yourself, mum, if you can’t find the perfect support system around you. We’re the only known species that can be lactose intolerant and milk producers. How fascinating is this!
Finally, It Is Worth it
I have shared with you 5 things I learnt while breastfeeding my son 27 months. Nevertheless, your baby will teach you life lessons that will stay with you you whole life. Regardless of the challenges, nursing is a worthwhile endeavor. Everything terrible in your life will fade away in the face of the sweet smell of your baby, the bonding, skin-to-skin contact, the fulfillment of your motherhood instinct, and the joy of seeing your kid thrive and develop. Stay strong, mom.