During my first pregnancy I planned on breastfeeding my baby and was really looking forward to it. I didn’t do as much preparing and research as I should have. I thought it was going to be easier than it was. I prepared for and worried over everything except nursing. Let’s just say, I was completely blindsided and ended up being disappointed. Below I have listed a few of the reasons why it didn’t work out for me, in hopes that it will prevent someone else from making the same mistakes!
1. Not Enough Water Intake- I used to be terrible when it came to drinking water. I didn’t realize how crucial water intake was to breast milk! Breast milk is 88% water, so not drinking it was my biggest mistake.
2. Delay - I think the one thing that set me back so much was going days without nursing/pumping right away. When I was having difficulty nursing it took days to get an appointment with the lactation consultant. I was having difficulty getting my son to latch. I was also unaware that I should be pumping so that my body knew to keep producing. I didn’t know how soon I could even start pumping or what kind of routine to get on.
3. No Lactation Consultant - I reached out to a lactation consultant but it was too late. Seeing a lactation consultant is very important to do as soon as you start to realize you are having any kind of an issue. By the time I went to a lactation consultant about a week had passed of bottle feeding and no latch progress. It made it too hard for us to get back into the groove of things, not to mention that at that point my confidence was just about nonexistent.
4. Poor Diet - There are so many foods that help your body increase milk supply. This was another thing I neglected to do, focus on my diet. I also didn't use any supplements when my supply dropped either or to even help increase my supply.
5. Lack of Consistency - This is so important for building up your supply. When it comes to breastmilk it’s all about supply and demand, I simply wasn’t telling my body to produce enough. This was mostly due to a poor latch which discouraged me from feeding also. When it came to pumping I didn’t have a schedule and I was never pumping the recommended amount of time (8-10 times a day).
6. No Middle of the Night Pumping - I also wasn’t pumping during the hours of midnight to 6am. I have found that to be the best hours to pump because that is when the milk is produced the most. The earlier you pump the more milk you get. This is a very important time frame.
What I’ve learned?
One of the best things you can do before your baby gets here is research as much as you can. Find a lactation consultant just in case you encounter any issues. Find some fellow mom friends, support can make a world of difference. I recently had my second baby and have had such success! Will share more details in a post to follow <3