Breastfeeding may seem like it should be easy, but unfortunately many mothers experience various difficulties with the nursing process. For some, it may take time to get in a groove where you feel like you know what you’re doing. However, if you realize ahead of time that it may not be the most simple task, you can give yourself some grace while you work through it. A good acronym to remember while nursing that I learned from my doula training is BASICS. It stands for:
Soothe your breasts
Breastfeeding requires that you be patient while you and your baby both learn how to breastfeed. It may take some time to gain confidence in nursing. However, having patience with nursing will make the process a lot easier.
Tell yourself affirmations of how well you’re doing. You’re working very hard to do what you think is best for you and your baby, and that deserves to be recognized. Believe that you can do it!
You may need to soothe your breasts, especially in the early weeks. Breastfeeding can make your nipples sore until they get used to being used so often. Your baby may even make them sore until they learn to use a deeper latch. Thankfully, there are products like lanolin cream available to help soothe your sore nipples.
If you are unsure about anything, ask for information from a trusted source like your provider or a lactation consultant. Finding out why or how something is happening can help you adjust or fix a problem. Asking questions can also leave you feeling confident about what you’re doing.
Comfort is necessary to be able to breastfeed. If you’re not comfortable for whatever reason, it’s not going to be something that you can continue to do long-term. If the nursing position you are using doesn’t seem very comfortable, even with the assistance of a nursing pillow or regular pillows, try another position. There are many different positions you can try until you find the one that works for you. If your baby’s latch seems uncomfortable, check with your provider or lactation consultant to see if it needs adjusted. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be uncomfortable!
Feeling serenity and peacefulness is attainable while breastfeeding! While it may not seem that way in the beginning, you can most certainly get there. Eventually it will feel like the relaxing, natural process it should be.
If you decide to breastfeed your child, remember the breastfeeding BASICS. With patience, positive affirmations, self-care, knowledge, comfort, and calmness you can accomplish your goals.