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Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding — it’s one of those things that, as a women, I thought would be so simple, easy, and natural. For as long as I can remember, I knew I would try to breastfeed my babies. I can still remember seeing my mom breastfeeding my baby sister when I was 5 years old, so it was normal and natural to me. What I didn’t really realize is that there was a lot more to it than just latching them on there! Breastfeeding is natural but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

breastfeeding baby boy

Breastfeeding has always presented challenges to me. Yes, I’ve talked to moms who found it easy from the get-go, but in my experience, it’s pretty common to run into an issue or two at some point while breastfeeding your baby. For me, it started out as extremely sore nipples and painful letdown the first time around. A friend gave me probably the best advice I’ve ever been given when it comes to breastfeeding — she told me to give it six weeks. She said the first six weeks can be really rough and make you want to quit, but if you can stick it out, things get so much better after that.

You know what – she was right! I’ve still faced issues beyond the initial first six weeks, but if you can tough it out through that period, it gets SO much better! I’ve struggled through plugged ducts, milk blebs I had to pierce with a needle, mastitis, severe engorgement and oversupply, losing my stockpile of milk (months worth!) but it’s all been okay! Being able to breastfeed my babies has been worth it!

Beyond remembering that word of advice above, one of my best tips of advice for you if you’ve just started to breastfeed or you’re currently pregnant and planning to breastfeed is to find another mom who’s been there, done that, and talk to her about any questions or concerns you might have. It’s been my experience that most moms are open to helping out other moms in this area! If you don’t know someone personally, than ask your midwife or obstetrician for recommendations on a lactation consultant, or join a local La Leche League group.

I’d also recommend that you read the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. It is a great book for all nursing moms to own with SO much information! To me, it’s right up there with a breast pump and breast pads when it comes to baby gear you should have if you’re planning to breastfeed. If you don’t have the extra money to purchase it, you can probably find it at your local library. Even with my 4th baby I found myself pulling it back out to research questions I had. I’m sure I’ll be consulting it again now that I’m pregnant with my 5th.

Over the years (I’ve been breastfeeding collectively for over 4 years now!) I’ve written a number of posts on my site about breastfeeding. I wanted to organize them in one easy to find place, so here you go! I hope you find these helpful and informative!

General Breastfeeding Posts

Breastfeeding Supplies

Increasing Milk Supply

As always, feel free to comment with any questions you might have relating to nursing your baby and I’m happy to help if I’m able.

Ashley Chassereau Parks

Tuesday 1st of May 2018

I've had struggles with nursing each of mine, but I totally agree with the "give it 6 weeks." Baby #3 is 3 weeks old and I'm counting down toward the 6 week mark. I'm battling oversupply this time and I'm trying to employ every trick I know to deal with it. Here's hoping it all regulates soon! I'll have to check out The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I've never heard of that book before, but I'd love read up and see what else I can learn!