Whew! I still can’t believe I breastfed for 2 years. It was definitely a journey but I’m truly grateful. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll know that I set a goal to breastfeed Deucey for 6 months but seeing the benefits and being encouraged by my husband, mom and the pediatrician was motivation to continue.
There are so many benefits of breastfeeding that many people don’t know (see 10 benefits of breastfeeding blog) but understanding and witnessing those benefits allowed me to continue my journey for as long as I did.
Throughout the last 2 years, I faced challenges like most. However, there were key things that I feel helped me successfully breastfeed.
The hospital staff where I delivered was extremely supportive. They made sure Deucey latched correctly immediately after birth. They removed the nursery from their hospital so that all babies can be with their moms during the entire stay, which allowed constant skin to skin, nursing, etc.
I made sure I moved milk to make milk. One thing that I learned about breastfeeding is you have to be consistent. Starting off, I nursed or pumped every couple of hours and I never had any issues with my supply. Even when I was exhausted, I knew that I had to move milk in order to continue producing it.
Skin to skin is important. Not only does this help you bond with your little one, it also helps your milk supply.
I stayed hydrated and ate a well balanced diet. I pretty much only drink water, besides smoothies and sometimes juices and I try to always eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which helped with my energy. (Nursing/pumping takes a lot of energy!)
My support system made sure I stayed encouraged and helped me when they could. The praise that I received from loved ones helped me mentally. Many people don’t understand how overwhelming breastfeeding can be so having people who are there to support you is important.
Joining a breastfeeding support group is beneficial. There’s nothing like talking to other moms who are either going through or have went through what you are experiencing. If you need a recommendation, comment below.
I blocked out negativity. All of the discouraging comments and feedback that I received were ignored. There’s so much ignorance that comes along with breastfeeding but that’s the last thing that you need to worry about when you are doing what is best for yourself and your child. If you have anyone in your life who brings negativity or discourages you, distance yourself.
Educate yourself. There are so many resources out there on breastfeeding. Reading will allow you to understand more and it could also give you some much needed motivation to keep going.
Lastly, do not compare yourself or your journey. There are tons of moms who breastfeed and most of them have totally different stories about their journey. Do not compare how long you’ve breastfed or how much milk you’re able to produce. Focus on yourself and your baby. What works for others may not work for you. You will drive yourself crazy trying to keep up. Trust the process and cherish the moments.