Each phase of breastfeeding presents its own challenges, but surviving the first 6 weeks is perhaps the biggest hurdle a new (or new again) mom will face. The unknowns, the hormones, and the physical exhaustion don’t make it any easier!
If we peeked into the diary of a newly postpartum mom, here’s how she might describe her breastfeeding journey so far:
The task of being the sole provider of nutrients for my baby is summed up in one word: daunting.
The worries and anxieties over being a successful breastfeeding mom are constant: is she getting enough milk? How will we manage nursing in public? Do I have enough breastmilk stored in the freezer? How will I handle going back to work? And then I stress about being stressed because I know that isn't good for my supply!
Is today Monday or Tuesday? Did the baby nurse on the right or the left breast at the last feeding? Who knows! The days and nights and details blur into one another and time is spent in a 2 or 3 hour repeating loop.
The numbers all pile up on top of each other in a jumbled mess: How many minutes did he eat? What time did the last session start? How many pee diapers per day? Poop diapers? How many ounces did I pump? When should I pump next?
(We highly suggest using an app to track feedings and diapers - because honestly, who has brain space for all of that?!)
Short an extra pair of hands.
The positioning, the maneuvering, the breast compression - it’s all too much for just two hands! I could seriously use two more.
Knowing my baby’s growth chart at each doctor appointment is a reflection of our breastfeeding “success” is a heavy weight to bear.
This is life now: every detail revolves around breastfeeding and I can't see an end in sight.
SO, SO REWARDING. Shout this one from the mountaintops, because it’s what makes everything else worth enduring. There is nothing like getting that first perfect latch! Or seeing my baby’s weight bump up on the infant scale! Or soothing my baby when she needs me - and only me. It's worth every hard moment.
That last one? That’s why we do this, mamas. That’s why we fight through all of the overwhelm and heavy and stress of it - to get to the good stuff. You may not be there by week 6, but I promise you it’s coming.
Good things are worth fighting for.
If you need any assistance in your breastfeeding journey, we would love to help! We have numerous resources available - just reach out!