I have a friend who really wants to exclusively breastfeed her baby. Baby is 4 weeks old and is not quite back to her birthweight (my middle child was the same), lots of people around her are encouraging her to supplement or switch to formula altogether. People tell her not to feel pressured into nursing... I don't believe she feels pressured into breastfeeding... I think she really wants to and needs help and encouragement with it all. If anything I think well meaning people are unintentionally pressuring her into bottle feeding instead.
I have shared my stories with her, given her tips and advice... She needs reassurance that breastfeeding 'all the time' is normal and is babies way of making her produce more milk.
Please share your stories, give her encouragement and let her know if she is ready to ask questions we will be here to help.
I understand her plight, I always had people encouraging me to bottle feed because mine nursed around the clock due to the one breast thing. However, I just couldn't let myself to it. I just knew if I dedicated myself to it 100%, we could make it work. It meant the world to me to be able to nurse all of my boys. The first few months were so difficult because of the many growth spurts, I often did my parenting from the recliner as the baby needed every but of my dedication to make it through. But I gladly did it. I wanted the best for my boys and that could only come from me. I remember the tears, the fear it want going to work, the naysayers as even the pediatricians had never had a mom successfully breastfeed for over a year exclusively, all of my boys were over 20# by for months. But we did it together. I look at these boys and see how bright and beautiful they are and know it was, at least in part, due to the dedication to nursing. Out will get so much easier once you get past the first 4 months.
it was very very hard work. I ended up having to pump both times which is even harder than nursing in my experience. It was a hard few months, but out of my entire life, those were just a handful of months that were dedicated entirely to my baby. and when I see how healthy and brilliant they are now, I know it was all worth it. My preemie who was born weighing in the 3rd percentile jumped to 75th percentile by 3 months old! Both kids are a very healthy weight as preschoolers and great eaters. The way I looked at it, in the big picture, what was a few weeks or months? I never got those tender, relaxed nursing moments that mommas tell sweet stories of. Yea I was tired. Yea there were melt-downs. But it was worth it. When I had difficulty, I would set shortterm goals for myself to make it less overwhelming. I'd tell myself I'd stick to it until Friday, and then decide on Friday if I was going to quit. Of course, when friday rolled around, i gave myself one more week to decide. It sounds silly, but it worked for months.
I've been successful breast feeding 2 kids for a year and am on week 4 of kid number 3. I have found staying hydrated makes a big difference for me in my supply. I have also found that the more I nurse the better - i figure the more in the more they'll get and the more they'll gain. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for your friend. The more feedings are very limiting for her in terms of what she can do - she might feel like she's feeding the baby all the time. I have fed my kids as close together as a hour from the last feeding or even 5 hrs from the last feeding. Let the baby call the shots. If the pediatrician isn't concerned - than why should she be? Best of luck.
The people who should be giving her advice are the pediatrician and lactation consultants. If she needs breastfeeding support encourage her to reach out her local La Leache League. Friends and family tend to overstep their boundaries and feel entitled to having opinions about new mothers. My own mother encouraged me to give my baby formula, so I didn't let her around me until the baby was over 3 months old. I just did not need that negativity in my life. My daughter exclusively breastfed until she was 2 years old. It took a whole month to get her to latch when she was born. It was the hardest time in my life. If you are able to put in the work in the beginning, the reward is so great.
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