Photo Credit: Meagan Meadows
"Don't give up! It really isn't easy, but it does get easier. I wanted to give up so many times with both my youngest kids, but I pushed through my issues, and I made it to 16 months with my daughter, and still going with my son. He will be 16 months in a week. And I will continue as long as this pregnant body allows me."
"Don't hate yourself if you have to supplement. Love the fact your baby is getting nourishment. If you think your supply has dropped, listen to your child before you make any quick decisions. if they seem happy and are gaining weight your supply is probably fine."
"Your baby is getting enough! Just keep them at the breast as often as you can. Pain medications (ibuprofen/percocet) are wonderful ways to manage the pain of the first week of nursing, as well as ice packs! Don't give up."
"Don't give up! It gets easier! Ice packs every 30 minutes between feedings, and a hot pack 5 minutes before feeding helps with engorgement pain!"
"Lots of skin to skin and nurse on demand."
"It's so hard in the beginning, but it gets easier. It's so worth it! Make sure you have a strong support team around you, and if you don't, build one. There are so many resources out there available to you. Many women, myself included, are more than willing to share our experiences and to answer any questions. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help! Also remember that it's okay to cry. It's stressful and we all need a good cry every now and then."
"Eat like you're still pregnant and drink all the water."
"Don't get discouraged if you pump and think you aren't producing enough! And even if you decide to supplement, don't get down on yourself. Take it day by day.. The first couple months are tough, but I promise it only gets easier! Do what you think is best for you and baby smile emoticon And dont refrain from asking for help or advice!! Support of other breastfeeding moms has helped me more than anyone knows!"
"Go see a certified lactation consultant (not hospital staff or your pediatrician. See an actual certified consultant.) if you are struggling. Be committed even if there is pain. It's a lot of work in the beginning, but it will get easier over time. You are doing a great job no matter how long you are able to breastfeed for. Lanolin...so much lanolin, and bamboobies are a gift from God. Buy them and use them. Bravado nursing tank tops are the best ones I have found (personally the tanks are better than the bras because when you lift your shirt your whole stomach doesn't show), drink so much water, and trust yourself. If your baby is having a hard time, is really gassy or has reflux, consider eliminating major food triggers not giving up breast feeding!"
"It sucks sometimes, but it is totally worth it. Also, never quit on a bad day."
"Definitely talk to a lactation consultant and don't assume anything. Let your baby's growth speak for itself and lead your decisions. People said I couldn't, but we're at 10mo and going strong despite having pcos and small amounts of milk making tissue. Also, read about how breastfeeding works so you understand it and can troubleshoot when necessary. Remember why you're doing it when you want to give up. I read so many formula cans and set them down and walked away. Got me through the "I cant do this" moments (that sometimes lasted weeks). Be kind to yourself in all ways, no matter what. Oh! And if you need a nipple shield GET THE RIGHT SIZE!!! Haha wish I'd known that in the beginning!"
"Before you give up, make sure you've talked to people who know what they are talking about (lactation consultants). Make sure they have the proper education and experience. It can be hard, but once it clicks, it is the easiest thing in the world. And never be ashamed to breastfeed in public. You are nourishing the next generation."
"Remember yourself too. It's very easy to focus on just your new bundle, but if you're not eating and drinking regularly that can affect your supply. Also Remember it takes a village don't feel you must do everything all by yourself. Delegate some task to others. "want to hold the baby while I shower? If you help with the dishes you can have extra snuggle time. Etc...""
"Dont give up! The first few weeks are the hardest"
"Accept that your tits are going to be hanging out about 99% of the first few months. Tell everyone in your house to get a good look at them now and get over it. Newborns nurse a lot. Like, ALOT!"
"Relax!!! And take time for yourself."
"One day at a time. Long term goals are great, but in the beginning, take it one day at a time. One feeding at a time. It does get easier!"
"Utilize the lactation consultants. They are there strictly for you and your baby!"
"Don't let anyone force you to supplement with formula. It should be your choice. Formula exists for a reason and it's not the end of the world if you have to formula feed. Just feed your baby."
"Utilize lactation consultants. They will do weighted feeds to see how much milk your baby is transferring."
"Mommy supplements, like fenugreek, blessed thistle, etc, are great. But they don't work the same for everyone."
"It's hard, but don't get discouraged. Find a group of people who will support you and your decisions."
"Some babies just won't latch. It's nothing you did wrong."
"Breastfeeding isn't easy. But it is very rewarding."
"As long as your baby is fed, growing, and happy, you're doing a great job!"
"As a new mom, you will be faced with many decisions. Breastfeeding versus formula is one of them. There will be many obstacles coming your way (pain with baby learning to latch, cracked and bleeding nipples, thrush, low supply, over supply, and the occasional nip-lash) but know that you can push through this mommy and 'this too shall pass'."
"Making sure the baby is latched on correctly, from the start, is so important. It can save you from so much pain."
"Enjoy breastfeeding. As stressful as it is, it is so rewarding."
"Don't stress!!!! Your body is meant to do this."
"Read and educate yourself as much as you can. There are things that don't just come naturally."
"It's the best thing you can do for your baby, but it has to work for both of y'all!"
"Never quit on a bad day!"
"First, google image search the size of a newborn's stomach. They are getting enough during those first few days when the formula pushers know you're weak."
"Get a tumbler (cup) and keep it full of hydrating liquids. Taking care of yourself and eating/drinking is so important."
"Do what feels right, and nipple shields will be your best friend."
"You're still eating for two."
"If you can survive the first 2-3 weeks, you can handle anything!"
"The sore cracked nipple phase will go away, promise!"
"Even when you feel like you don't have enough to milk, keep putting baby to breast. Your body will make more. Don't feel like you have to supplement. Especially in the evenings when baby will likely cluster feed."
"Nurse on demand and do whatever Kellymom.com says."
"It's not supposed to hurt. If it does, seek help immediately."
"Get educated! Take classes, read everything that you can get your hands on (from a reliable source), etc."
"Find a good lactation consultant and call them with questions. They're a godsend."
"Don't give up. Unless a lactation consultant says you're not producing, keep going. Not feeling a let down doesn't mean you're having problems. Not feeling engorged, doesn't mean you're having problems. Baby always hungry doesn't mean you're having a problem."
"Don't give up, but also don't feel guilty if you're unable to breastfeed. It's okay if you need to switch to formula. All that matters is that your baby is getting food!"
"How much you pump lets you know how much you pump. Not how much you produce."
"It's all in your head. If you believe people who tell you it's hard, it will seem harder. If you believe that producing a strong supply is hard work and stressful, it will be. This is what our bodies were made to do. Just relax and trust your body to feed your baby."
"I'd tell a mom who is new to breastfeeding to not beat herself up. It was my dream to breastfeed Annabelle and I did until 7 months but I was one of the few with supply issues. I did everything, skin to skin, nursing on demand, drink over a gallon of water a day, eat galactogues, use essential oils, took fenugreek/blessed thistle/ nettle leaf/ and mothers love tincture, I even took domperidone from Canada. I tried every trick and advice known, I used LLL and a certified LC, plus every breastfeeding mom I could think of, and in the end I had to supplement and eventually at 7 months stop breastfeeding. I spent a lot of time beating myself up over why I couldn't do something that comes so naturally to others, I cried a lot, and more than anything... I felt alone. I hated seeing breastfeeding pictures, because it hurt so much. But I traveled back in time to her birth, and figured out what happened to my supply in order to possibly head off any future issues with other babies. With all of that craziness said- new moms aren't alone. I found when I reached out I was met with a wave of prayers and support, even if the moms may not have understood where I was coming from. It is worth it though, and even though it was really hard- I would do it again. I reaped a lot of benefits from breastfeeding and I know Annabelle did too. "