It’s hard to believe that my babies turned five months old this week. While it seems like a lifetime has passed, it also seems like just yesterday I was trying to figure out what to do with these little guys. (Who am I kidding, I often still am trying to figure that out!)
But thinking back to the first few days, and especially of breastfeeding then, I have such pride. I think the best thing I did then – and continue to do now – is ask for help. I called on nurses, lactation consultants, friends, and my mother for guidance and extra sets of hands.
Our breastfeeding experience started in the NICU, and although I was surrounded by nurses and doctors, I still called my midwife’s office and talked with its lactation consultant about latching and feeding. I compared those notes with ones I took while talking with the nurses in the NICU. And then I came home and talked with my mother about all of it, as well, and took her comments under consideration.
I also realized in those first few weeks that it was okay to give the babies formula. It wasn’t going to hurt them, or make them love me less, but rather, it was going to give me a few extra hours to sleep or at least rest – which, as a new mother, was priceless. It only happened a couple of times, and I tried hard to fight it, but in the end, I knew it was the right decision.
A few other quick tips: try to remember your water, phone and television remote before you start nursing… or be sure someone who can get those things for you are nearby; don’t fret about every feeding – sometimes the baby just isn’t as hungry, or is more hungry; and relax – while you’re feeding the baby is a great time to catch your breath from the day and gain your composure again.
More than anything, know that you can do this. YOU ROCK!