I recently had my third baby, and I wasn’t even sure I was going to breastfeed this time around. After two failed attempts, the thought of trying and failing a third time seemed daunting. I played it cool by saying things like “if it works it works,” but in my head, I was secretly hoping I would have breastfeeding success.
For some reason, not being able to successfully breastfeed made me feel like there was something I was missing out on. And in my own stubborn way, I really don’t like failing at anything. Especially when it’s tied to motherhood.
But this time around I have been successful, but that didn’t just happen by luck. Well, maybe some of it did. After some thought, I do think that there are reasons why breastfeeding has worked for me this time, and maybe my reasons can help someone else. I’m no expert in this area; these are simply things that have worked for me.
Measure the Nipples
Nipple shields do wonders if you need them. But what I didn’t know is there are different nipple shield sizes. Once I measured my own nipples, I ordered the appropriate size for my shield and it’s made a world of a difference for latching and protecting my precious pink teats.
Forget the Lanolin crap. Trust me when I say EARTH MAMA ORGANIC NIPPLE BUTTER. Once again Amazon comes in cluth. This stuff saved my nipples in those beginning weeks when breastfeeding is the most painful. I used it religiously, and I still believe that it helped keep me from getting a breast infection. I also love that I do not have to worry about when I apply it because it’s organic and safe for the baby to ingest. Just lather this stuff on like you would an over-sunscreened, fair-skinned baby on a hot, sunny day. You will be golden.
It sounds simple, but this is a huge one for me. With my first, I was so nervous and anxious about every little thing that it stripped me from trusting and allowing myself time to figure out breastfeeding. Especially in those first few days when it’s nerve-wracking while you’re waiting for your milk to come in and wondering if your baby is getting enough to eat and if they have enough wet and dirty diapers.
I remember our first night home from the hospital with my daughter; she was crying and my husband and I freaked out and fed her one of those already made formula bottles. I’m not saying it was wrong, but with our third, we knew what to expect which made us more patient and relaxed. I trusted and waited for my body to do what it needed to do to nourish my baby.
Inform, Inform, Inform
Looking back to the very beginning of my breastfeeding journey with my first, I realize now that I was not knowledgeable enough about breastfeeding for it to be successful. It’s a lot to learn and know. It’s overwhelming at times. Couple that with being an overwhelmed first time mother, I think it was just too much for me. And that’s ok, I don’t have any regrets. I did the best I could at the time.
One of my current favorite follows on Instagram right now is @karrie_locher. I would highly recommend any pregnant or postpartum mamas follow her. She’s a postpartum nurse and a mama of four herself, and is a wealth of knowledge from motherhood to infant care. She even has breastfeeding and infant care courses you can purchase. I have learned SO much from following her and trust the information that she shares.
Third Time’s A Charm
There’s something special about the third baby. My first two kids are only two years apart. There’s no doubt that after my second, I was deep in the throws of motherhood. And even though my life is much more chaotic now than it was four years ago, how I’ve approached motherhood is different.
I feel confident, capable, and very aware of the time and how fleeting it is when it comes to our babies growing up. I’m trying to soak in and revel in every moment. I look down often at my baby while I’m feeding him with amazement at what my body has gone through and what it’s still continuing to go through to help him grow. And I’m grateful that motherhood led me to this moment in time. I never want to forget it.
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