Life Lessons Learned From Breastfeeding

Lu at 7,5 months and I having a moment at home in Spain 



When it comes to maternity topics, breastfeeding is one of the most written-about subjects. And it is no wonder: the first weeks of a baby's life bring a whirwind of emotions and, especially as a first time parents, we are so clueless...:) 

I was blessed with an uncomplicated pregnancy. The labor was also easy as pie.

As for the breastfeeding part, I'm afraid it didn't come so natural to me. I struggled with low milk supply and even suffered mastitis. Throw some sleep deprivation into the mix, too. You get the picture. I was a total mess. :) 

The nursing days are way behind us, but the realizations I had during these long, challenging months still help me to keep my priorities straight on a daily basis. 

# 1 Nutrition & hydration 

I'm not reinventing the wheel with this one, but when you are caught up in a hectic routine -or lack thereof- it is so easy to forget about eating well and drinking water. These months made me more aware of the importance of eating every two or three hours and drinking water throughout the day. I'd make weekly meal plans to ensure I was consuming the right nutrients and incorporated new-to-me super foods such as quinoa or fenchel on my meals. 

# 2 Take a step back and contemplate the big picture. 

As a mother, it is also easy to get lost on your kids' needs to the detriment of our own's. My big reality check came three weeks after Lucia's birth in the form of mild mastitis. My doctor told me in most cases it was caused by stress. No antibiotics were needed: just try to relax and keep breastfeeding and pumping. I guess I needed to hear that in order to take a step back in the middle of the turmoil, breathe and reconnect to myself. This has been, is and probably will be a recurrent routine for the sake of my inner peace, confidence and happiness. :) 

#3 Take advice (from the Internet, friends, acquaintances and beyond) with a pinch of salt

One night I could make it to bed at around 4am, only to wake up an hour later with a really sharp pain in the right breast. First thing I did, I grabbed my phone sitting on my bedstand and googled 'sharp pain breast.' First result that came out was 'heart attack.' I was like...okay...I cannot be having a heart attack. Luckily I kept scrolling down. Mastitis. It sounded more realistic. (see point #2)

It is very important to have a handful of valid, trusted professionals on speed-dial (pediatric, lactancy consultant, gynecologists...) to assist us on making educated decisions. It is also important to listen to other mothers' experience with love and respect, but knowing that we all have different needs and circumstances. 

At the end of the day, every mother is the ultimate decision-maker throughout this fascinating, unique, miraculous path of parenthood. We are all learning as we go and trying our very best.

One day at a time!

So, how do you like my takeaways? Did you guys learn something new from your experience? 

4 comments

  1. Breastfeeding can be such a challenge (understatement for some!) I suffered similar problems, but kept going. I was attached to the pump too! I'm really glad those days are over and I know what to expect for next time. It's hard NOT to be stressed out, but we all get through it!

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  2. Breastfeeding can be so tough!! I am on my third child with breastfeeding and there are many days I want to quit, where I think my milk is low or my chest hurts. It can be stressing and you get no sleep really as you have to wake up quite a few times in the night. it can be hard not to quite, but you are doing a great thing. If it got too much, I am all for women expressing or otherwise to help them. Because a mother must be happy and baby will be happy!! xx

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