Breastfeeding is like riding a bicycle

My title is in no way supposed to reflect how I feel about breastfeeding for all mothers and their subsequent children. It merely expresses how I’ve found nursing to be in my situation with our little Zion.

Jumping into breastfeeding shortly after birth was like sitting on the saddle for the first time after being pregnant (which I am yet to do, but have already experienced it postpartum with Little Nugget). As my legs would know where and what to do with the peddles, my arms knew exactly what to do with my newborn and breast. The awkward positioning and how uncomfortable it could be was quickly remembered and avoided (or adapted to) by my body

I knew that riding my bicycle for the first time (again) wouldn’t come without some rocky starts. I tackle every session, every hill, individually. I work hard to have patience with myself while I relearn this process, and most importantly, I have faith in this new little bicycle of mine who is working just as hard as me if not harder.

The following are little pieces of breastfeeding advice that I’ve put together for myself. I am writing them down while I am of sound mind and not emotionally impaired by my mothering hormones. I hope that they help another momma as they continue to help me.

  1. Try not to have expectations for yourself or your baby.
    I know this is hard to do when all we’re surrounded by is advice, horror and success stories, media, and everything in between. Don’t let someone else’s situation be your own. Use it, but don’t live it. Try and pave your own path. Go with the flow. Stress and worries about not meeting expectations such as how much you’re pumping or how well your baby is latching will lead to frustration and let downs…and not the right kind of “let down”. ::Insert winking emoji here:: Get it?
  2. Find a go-to comfort nursing spot in your home.
    When you’re frustrated and nothing is working, utilize this comfort spot to nurse in. Use this location as a reset button. Allow it to aid you in breathing deep and letting the disappointments flow out with your breaths.
  3. It’s alright if you never get the hang of the “expert positions”.
    Nursing while lying down, nursing while wearing baby, nursing in public, etc. I call these the “expert positions” because I was never able to do them with Little Nugget, and I’m trying not to have expectations for Zion Nugget. If we get there, cool. If not, that’s cool too.
  4. Melt.
    Wherever you nurse, try to remember to relax your shoulders, arms, hands, jaw, pretty much all of your body. Just melt. It will make breastfeeding more enjoyable.
  5. Enjoy nursing.
    There is no way of knowing how long you will nurse your child, so why not enjoy every minute of it. Soak in the marvels of your body nurturing your child’s growth.
  6. Seek support as soon as you need it.
    If you find yourself or your baby having difficulties with breastfeeding, seek support right away. There are plenty of options to choose from. There is pricey one-on-one support to free community support groups. If you need some guidance, please feel free to contact me or ask your child’s pediatrician for some referrals.

Cheers to the our wondrous bodies!

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