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Breastfeeding Brody did not come naturally. I envisioned it being an ethereal experience and a natural process that would just click at first latch. I remember struggling at the hospital with the lactation consultant as his little lip curled under and he could not get a firm latch. The first month or two of nursing was far from enjoyable, but we stuck it out and ended up having a great first year of breastfeeding. I have had quite a few moms ask how nursing has been going with Isla. It has been quite different so far, but in a good way.
Today I thought I would share a few things I wish I would have known about breastfeeding the first time around.
1. There will always be a learning curve.
Having finally mastered nursing with Brody, I expected everything to immediately click with Isla as well. I quickly learned that there is a learning curve with each new baby. Learning what position works best, how to get them to latch on, and how long they feed until full. Each baby is so different. The learning curve certainly was smaller with Isla, but it still took us a couple of weeks to fully find our groove.
2. Your diet is super important.
It is no secret that what mom eats is passed through the milk to baby. But did you know that this could cause a deficiency of some nutrients for mom? Take calcium for example. The daily requirement for calcium in women age 19+ is 1,000 mg, but over 2/3rds of women is calcium deficient. What does this mean when it comes to breastfeeding? It means a breastfeeding mom's body will draw calcium from momma's own bones to ensure that baby gets all of their necessary calcium. Studies from the National Institute of health have shown that moms can lose 3-5% of their bone mass while nursing!
Really understanding the impact my diet has on both Isla and myself has been important this time around. This is where supplements like Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews come in handy. Each calcium chew contains 500 mg of calcium and comes in delicious milk chocolate or caramel flavors. Eating just one or two chews a day can make a big impact on meeting your recommended daily calcium requirement to help lower your risk of things like osteoporosis later in life.
I have also been more cautious of the foods I have been putting in my body. Nursing makes me very hungry, so this time I have tried to keep healthier snacks in arms reach. No more handfuls of chocolate chips like I was eating when I would feed Brody.
3. Don't stress
There seems to be a lingering fear among nursing moms that your milk supply will suddenly disappear one day. I worried about this with Brody. The best way to prevent this from happening? Relax. Take care of your body. Keep active and stay well hydrated. I noticed the more I stressed about my supply with Brody, the more it would dwindle. There was a direct correlation between my hydration levels and stress levels and my supply. This time, I am trusting my body. I know it will try its best to keep Isla nourished for as long as possible.
4. It gets easier with time
The biggest piece of advice I wish someone would have told me is that breastfeeding gets easier as each day passes. It can be discouraging in the early days where you have chapped nipples and it's a struggle to figure out a comfortable position, but hang in there. Try not to get frustrated. Do not hesitate to get in touch with a lactation consultant if you are struggling. The tough days will quickly pass and before you know it you too, will find your groove.
Which Viactiv Calcium Soft Chew flavor would you like to try?
Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews are available in milk chocolate or caramel flavors at major retailers including CVS, Rite Aid, Target, and Walmart, as well as supermarkets nationwide.
This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation on behalf of Viactiv that contains affiliate links. I received Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews for my own personal use. This post is not intended to address or diagnose any medical conditions. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing or planning on becoming pregnant, speak with your healthcare provider if you have any specific health questions or prior to taking any dietary supplements.