Monday, August 6, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week: The Basics of Breastfeeding for New Moms {Guest Post}

{This is a guest post provided by Jenn at The Great Cloth Diaper Experiment}

The Basics of Breastfeeding for New Moms!!

Breastfeeding is our first and best gift to our children.  It is the most natural way for newborns to be nourished and it greatly helps with bonding on the part of  Mamas and our sweet babies.  Too often in our culture today, breastfeeding is seen as an inconvenience, too much trouble, or so painful that many new moms are shying away from even trying to breastfeed.  

Here are a few basics for new mom's to consider when deciding if breastfeeding is best for them.  
  • For babies, breastfeeding is an instinct, for mamas it is a learned skill.  
    • This means that your sweet baby knows exactly what he needs and how to get it, but we often fear that which we do not understand.  There is a learning curve when you begin breastfeeding for the first time, but fear not- you were created with the unique ability to provide perfect nutrition for your baby and if you have a little patience, you can do it.
  • Eat REAL food!!
    • You and your baby are depending on your choice of foods while you breastfeed.  The three things I live by while breastfeeding is:
      • Eat REAL Food- stay away from processed foods as much as possible.  Limit packages, plastic, boxes, fast food, etc.  Add as much protein to your diet as possible.
      • Eat RAW Food- eating fruits and vegetables the way they were created is best.  In many cases, cooking the food drains it of valuable nutrients and vitamins you and your baby need.  Whenever possible eat RAW!!
      • Eat OFTEN- your body is working hard to create milk for your little one- eat often so you are sure to be nourished and your milk supply will be abundant.
  • Drink LOTS of water!!
    • LOTS= so much more than you think- you need to be almost constantly drinking water.  It is so important for your milk production and for your overall well being.  Most people live in a state of dehydration and that can really take a toll on your body.  During your breastfeeding years it is even more important to make sure you are drinking enough water.  Good tip- if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated!!
  • Every mother is different and therefore what worked for your mom, your sister, your best friend or the lady in the grocery store may or may not be what works best for you.  
    • Just as in pregnancy, take every piece of advice with a grain of salt, try it out for yourself, and decide if it works for you.  But most of all don't think that if you can't or don't breastfeed the same way, time frame, quantity, or position as someone else you are doing it wrong.  You are the expert on your baby and you will know what is best!!
  • Most of all- Be confident!!
    • You are an expert on your baby.  You have grown your little person in your body for nine long months and your body responds naturally to him.  Your body was created for just this purpose and you can do it.  
Breastfeeding is a natural extension of motherhood and there is tons of support in the mothering community for those who chose this path.  Seek out the support you need if you are struggling and believe in yourself and your amazing body!!

**Please note- I do know there are instances where mother's have tried to breastfeed and were not successful.  This is in no way condemning of those women- we are all different and have a different journey we walk.  We must do the best we can for our children with what we are given and there is no condemnation or judgement from one mother to another.**

Written by Jenn Walden- The Great Cloth Diaper Experiment
Mom of three and breastfeeding cheerleader!!

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