E and I didn't have the greatest start when it came to breastfeeding. In fact, it pretty much sucked. His birth weight dropped because of inefficient sucking. I was pumping after every feed to build my supply and supplement. Until things caught up, we were syringe feeding after every feed with donor milk. On top of all this, I was dealing with a lack of sleep, crazy hormones, and a baby that wanted to come 3.5 weeks early.
Thankfully, we persevered. I had wonderful support and we have moved forward as if we didn't have a rough start at all. Looking back, I have some regrets and wish I had known or done some things differently.
Hunger cues and signs of milk transfer I know this was taught in our Bradley birth class, but I really wish I had paid attention. Only now do I realize just how important those things are. I didn't realize that crying is a disorganized hunger cue and often a sign of frustration. Kellymom has a great list of hunger cues in order of early to late.
Hormones, hormones, hormones I wish I knew just how much those hormones would affect me during those first few weeks. It was like PMS on steroids. I was a mess about the breastfeeding issues and the hormones made it worse. Throw in the lack of sleep, and you've got a great recipe for disaster. If you're reading this and just had a baby, please know that it will get better. You will no longer cry at car commercials or sweat through your sheets (we had to buy waterproofing for me). Same goes for breastfeeding. It gets easier
Take it all in Realize that everything stops for this little being in your lap. Don't bother with cleaning the house and writing thank you cards. That can wait. Spend every waking moment taking it all in. And spend every sleeping moment dreaming of the next waking moment. The milk drunk faces, the dribbles of milk from their mouths, the gurgles... it goes by really fast. Breastfeeding can be tough at first and it SUCKS sometimes, but it is just a flash in time.
What do you wish you had known in the early weeks of breastfeeding?