Breastfeeding is hard. Really hard. If you are going to try to do it, then do what you can to make your goals more realistic and your life more livable in those awful, early, seemingly endless days where you start dreading when the baby will nurse again. You think I am exaggerating? Even the mommas at my mommy-baby support group who would describe their breastfeeding experience as going great would admit to times like that. Keeping it real, people.
My Brest Friend
The Boppy stinks. Use this instead. I could end my thoughts right there, but basically, make sure you have a supportive pillow. The Brest Friend is nicely firm so it is more comfortable for George because he does not slip off, and I can even breastfeed hands-free with this pillow.
Get a lactation consultant. Preferably BEFORE you have the baby, because you do not want to be scrambling to find someone you like when questions come up at four days post-partum and everyone is exhausted and the baby is crying and who knew googling for a reputable lactation consultant could take so long?
We had so many different issues with breastfeeding that we genuinely needed professional help, and I credit our lactation consultant as one of the main reasons we have lasted as long as we have. She watched how we breastfed, helped us correct the latch, try new positions, showed me how to use my breast pump, referred us to an oral motor specialist, taught me about galactogogues, and acted as our cheerleader when times were tough (which was just about every time we visited her).
And do not assume they are breastfeeding militants, who will judge you if you admit any fears about the feasibility of continuing breastfeeding. A good lactation consultant will follow this as the number one rule: Feed the baby. Formula is not the enemy, and sometimes, supplementation really is necessary. Our lactation consultant took the above photo of El Hub feeding George his first ever bottle at one week and five days old.
Target nursing tanks and a regular ole' cardigan
I have been living in these tank tops since George was born. When I know I am going out, I try to wear a cardigan that buttons. When it is time to nurse, I just button the top couple of buttons, lower the tank, and begin nursing. It is so much more discreet than those gigantic nursing covers, and way less sweltering.
So that's that. If you are breastfeeding, rock those ta-tas with pride. If you are not, rock those bottles with pride as well. In other words, FEED THE BABY. Hooray for common ground!