Whether you’re having your first baby or your last, knowing the B.A.S.I.C.S. can make a world of difference in your breastfeeding journey:
Be Patient – Breastfeeding is a learned skill that doesn’t always come easily to every mother and baby. Some mothers may struggle with positioning. Some babies may struggle with latch. Whatever issues you’re facing, it’s important to be patient with yourself and your baby while you are both learning and adjusting.
Affirmations – You are nourishing your child with your body, and every little bit of breast milk should be celebrated. It is a demanding job, and can be mentally and emotionally taxing. Frequent affirmations help remind you that are doing a good job! Because you are!
Soothe – Your breasts are going through something they’ve never experienced before. It is not uncommon for them to become sore or even irritated in the first couple weeks. Remember to soothe them between feedings. Using a barrier like coconut oil or lanolin may help. Some may even find relief from ice packs.
Information – There are so many variables in breastfeeding, and knowing where to find the most accurate and useful information is a vital part of the equation. Taking a prenatal breastfeeding class can help get you started on the right foot. Classes cover topics such as milk production, positioning, feeding patterns, pumping, and more. After your baby arrives, a lactation consultant can help reassure you that everything is going well or troubleshoot any issues you may be having.
Comfort – In the first few days and weeks, it may feel like all you’re doing is feeding the baby. Before nursing, situate yourself in a comfortable position, and then bring baby to the breast. You may also want to create a “nursing nest” that has everything you need – water, snacks, remote, phone, nursing pillow, etc. This will allow you to relax and enjoy this quiet time together.
Serenity – Your overall serenity plays an important role in your breastfeeding journey. Stress and anxiety can have negative effects on milk production. Self-care is key; aim to do at least one thing each day that makes you happy.
“The B.A.S.I.C.S. of Breastfeeding” © Randy Patterson, ProDoula