I’m a Sisterhood of Motherhood sponsored blog partner, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
Glancing down at my 37 week pregnant belly, memories and feelings relating to my first child’s birth come flooding through my mind. To be completely honest, the first few weeks of motherhood were some of the hardest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, the love I felt for my son was unlike anything I’d ever experienced; but this didn’t take away from the fact that the adjustment period was a personal challenge. Being a planner, I felt lost not having a set schedule. My son wouldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time, his colicky cries were heart wrenching, the baby blues empowered my emotions, and worst of all, breastfeeding did not come easy.
Being a naive new mother, it had never occurred to me that breastfeeding didn’t come naturally to all. For the first few weeks of my son’s life, many tears were shed in relation to breastfeeding. I vividly remember holding my screaming son in my arms with tears rolling down my cheeks – I knew he was hungry, but despite my best efforts, breastfeeding just wasn’t clicking. To be honest, I was completely devastated – would I still be a good mother if I didn’t breastfeed?
Sobbing to my mother, I expressed my breastfeeding concerns and frustrations. It was then that my whole outlook on parenting changed. Plain and simple she advised me, “Do what works best for YOU. All babies are different – what works for one baby doesn’t always work for another. Find what works for YOUR baby.” I had forgotten what was most important – MY baby. I quickly began to explore many different feeding avenues and through trial and error found a couple of solutions that really helped me to overcome my own baby feeding challenges.
Overcoming Baby Feeding Challenges
1. For engorged breasts, use cold compresses. Take ibuprofen to help with the inflammation.
2. To help boost milk supply, apply heat to breasts. Stand in the shower facing the stream of warm water. You can also try using warm wash cloths and heating packs.
3. Get a nipple shield.
4. Try different feeding positions – the football hold, side-lying, etc.
5. For cracked/sore nipples, apply a lanolin cream. You can also try rubbing some of your breast milk on your nipples.
For the first 5 months of my son’s life, I pumped and bottle fed. When he turned 5 months, something miraculous happened – he started refusing a bottle and would only breastfeed. With the help of a nipple shield, he was able to learn how to latch properly. During the following months, my milk started drying up and I started supplementing with formula. And you know what? I was perfectly okay with that – I was doing what worked best for me and my baby. That’s what I love about Similac’s The Sisterhood of Motherhood Campaign. Despite our difference of opinions (such as how we choose to feed our babies) we are all united in one cause; parents trying to do what’s best for our babies.
Let’s set aside our differences and judgments and join with Similac to offer parents words of encouragement. After all, we are all learning and growing together.
What is the best baby feeding advice you’ve received?
Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Sisterhood of Motherhood Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.