Tips to Succeed: What I Wish I’d Known

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about breastfeeding myths and dispelling them. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!

From the beginning, my older son nursed for about an hour each session–and that was primarily because I watched the clock and switched him to the other breast after he drank for a half hour…regardless of whether he was still chugging away!

All the books I read suggested a feeding would last 20 minutes, so you can imagine my surprise at spending an hour on the couch nursing him every 90 minutes! I was overcome by how much he needed me and how much time I was spending just meeting this basic need. Between nursing him and changing his diapers, I realized I didn’t have time to do anything else at all.

I even figured out how to pee while wearing him in the baby carrier so he could keep on nursing!

I didn’t know anyone else in real life who was nursing a baby. I had one friend with a similar aged baby, but she was right there in the thick of it with me and you know what it’s like trying to make a phone call when you have a new baby! Especially the first time around.

Not until I went to a La Leche League meeting and confessed my terrible secret, that my baby nursed more than twice as long as he was supposed to, did I realize he and I were doing everything right. The relief that washed over me while every single person in the room validated this experience as normal! Oh my! By this point, I’d spent more than a month convinced something was really wrong, that I might not have enough milk since why else would he nurse for so long.

The second time, I anticipated that my newborn son would nurse basically all the time. All the time. So when he started doing this, I knew things were going absolutely fine. I knew how to watch that little place behind his ears moving when he was swallowing, to listen for the clicking sound of him gulping milk.

I knew all of these things because I talked to other nursing mothers, not because I read books. There is nothing more valuable for my nursing success than other mothers who have successfully nursed their babies.

When I was pregnant the first time, I vaguely knew there were classes to take and that expectant mothers were welcome at La Leche League meetings, but I didn’t take advantage of this wisdom. My best tip for nursing success, however you define that, is to locate actual nursing mothers in real life and start hanging around them immediately.

Maybe this means you make it to a class while you’re still pregnant, or maybe this means you stuff your unwashed, disheveled self into the car with your newborn for a new mom connections meeting. Especially if you don’t come from a network of been-there-done-that nursing relatives or friends, you’ll need this network to rely on when things start to seem bizarre. And let’s face it! Many, many aspects of nursing a baby seem bizarre.

The beauty of finding other nursing moms is knowing these other women are currently in your same shoes, have been in your shoes before, and who understand why you might be wearing two different shoes.

What was your biggest tip to succeed at breastfeeding? Leave us a comment to share your experience.


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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