If any year called for new resolutions, wouldn’t it be 2020?
It’s an iconic year and brings to mind having perfect vision and thus big goals. For nursing Moms, #goals usually mean easier letdown, faster pumping sessions and definitely more, more, more, more of that liquid gold stuff!
But exactly who are we competing with here?
It’s easy to get jelly when your IG feed is full of other Mums showing off multiple bottles after just one expression or a freezer full of milk. We say, let’s not go there. Feeding your baby is not a race against others, period.
But mindful goal-setting is a healthy thing and at Hegen, we’re all about supporting healthy practices. Why not rethink or reflect on your new resolutions about nursing and consider not making it about having “more”?
Here are four resolutions for breastfeeding in 2020 that are within reach for any nursing Mum:
1. Focus on having a positive experience
We know that a large part of having success when it comes to breastfeeding – be it latching on; letting down or expressing – depends on the Mum’s emotional well-being. So you can’t have that if you’re tired, stressed out, distracted or not having your emotional needs met.
Look for ways to keep your emotional cup filled and getting the rest you need. Sleep when baby sleeps; find a soothing activity to do, be it Yoga or bubble baths or even indulging in chocolate. Be your own best cheerleader in all things to do with Mummy instead of being your worst critic.
2. Set your personal goals
This means, don’t compare yourself to the superhuman, milk-producing monster Mummy friend you have who is filling milk storage bags by the dozens everyday. If you need to block some contacts on social media, do it!
Remember, every body is different and every baby’s feeding needs are different too. So measure and celebrate how can increase your own supply per expression session.
3. Work on short-term goals
If your goal is to breastfeed exclusively, no matter what – you might be sabotaging yourself or baby if things can’t go as planned. Look at the short or medium-term to see what you’re able to achieve. Maybe it’s to have a day’s worth of milk in the freezer. When this becomes easy to do, work on having two or three days worth of milk in storage – so on and so forth.
Of course take care to do what it takes to make your goals achieveable: take supplements if you have to; drink lots of fluids; get a good breast pump and have all the breastfeeding accouterments you need.
4. Ask for support
It might seem that you’re all you need when it comes to expressing milk for your baby but going solo can mean taking on a great burden. Make sure that you have the right help handy so that you can go do your thing.
For example, share with your spouse about your goals – they may not get it but make sure they get why it’s important to you. Having problems or illnesses like mastitis? Get a lactation consultant instead of relying on Dr. Google. If you’re a stickler for domestic neatness but don’t have a live-in helper, perhaps it might be time to consider having one. And if you’re a post-partum Mum going back to the workplace, find out what breastfeeding spaces are available to you at the office.