August is National Breastfeeding Month. To celebrate, we’ve created the following 7-point manifesto for nursing mothers, mothers-to-be, and supportive fathers.
We will eat well and snack often.
“You need an estimated 300-500 extra calories per day as a breastfeeding mother.” (Kids Health) Make each of those extra calories count with grains, fruits, and vegetables.
We will use lanolin—and use it often.
Lanolin is an all-natural wax that protects against cracking and soreness.
We will introduce bottle-feeding.
Not only does this relieve some of the responsibility, but it’s nice to give dad and others a shot at this primo bonding opportunity.
We will not be afraid to go out in public.
Breastfeeding doesn’t imply hermitage, especially when fashionable breastfeeding capes and covers are a short shopping trip away.
We will not forget to alternate.
Watch the clock and try to give your baby equal amounts of feeding time on each side.
We will understand the concept of supply and demand.
In doing so, you’ll avoid issues of milk overproduction that can turn into uncomfortable, or even painful, situations.
We will not get down on ourselves.
Some babies take to nursing instantly and effortlessly. For some mommy/baby duos, breastfeeding is a long and difficult process. If you’ve committed yourself to making it work, cut yourself some slack when discouraging moments arise.
We will use all of the resources provided to us.
Most labor and delivery floors provide breastfeeding coaches who are available to you even after you check out. Call them—they’re there to help.
When it comes to resources, don’t forget about local support organizations. La Leche League of the Black Hills is a union of veteran mothers who have experienced it all when it comes to breastfeeding. They’ve also been trained and accredited by La Leche League International to provide mother-to-mother support. Best of all, their advice, education, and encouragement is free.
[References: The Nemours Foundation KidsHealth. (2014). Breastfeeding FAQs.]