Many new moms head into breastfeeding believing that it will be a piece of cake. They think, how could something so natural be hard? Well, even nature requires a bit of effort. Breastfeeding can be challenging at times, not only physically but emotionally as well. Even when you and your baby get into a rhythm and all the kinks have been worked out, the daily repetition of breastfeeding or pumping may become tedious. You are not a bad mother if you feel frustrated or anxious about breastfeeding. If you are truly dedicated to sticking with it, what you need are motivational breastfeeding thoughts. And that’s exactly what we are providing today!
Keep your eye (or breast) on the bottom line. The number one reason why mothers’ breastfeed is to offer their babies the incredible health benefits of breast milk. When breastfeeding gets tough and you need a boost, think about all the wonderful ways you are supporting your baby’s health now and in the future. From providing the very best and purest nutrition to your baby, to improving immune strength and reducing the risk of many diseases and health conditions, breast milk is the ultimate baby superfood.
Develop a breastfeeding mantra. As with any challenge in your life, sometimes you need a catch phrase to repeat to yourself that will help you get through it. Perhaps it is something you say to your baby such as “I love you, I cherish you, I want the world for you” or “you are my precious one, you are so special to me, you deserve the best.” Or your mantra can be more personal like “this unique bond is once in a lifetime – celebrate it while it lasts.” Pep yourself up through whatever repetitive chant works for you.
Focus on your baby. At some point after giving birth, motherly instincts kick in and the most important thing will be your baby. This is how mothers bond some beautifully with their newborns. As you share close bonding moments while breastfeeding, soak in your baby. Notice her expressions, her smell, her coos. Memorize her every feature, from her crinkled forehead to her adorable chin. Learn to read her every move. Diverting your focus from the stress of breastfeeding to the love of your child can be highly motivational.
Use breastfeeding and pumping time productively. After you’ve breathed in your baby as much as possible, use your breastfeeding time to do something good for you and your baby. You can start reading about the next stage in your baby’s life, learn new lullabies or nursery rhymes or listen to soothing music. Don’t view breastfeeding as wasted time, but rather use the time to benefit both you and your baby.
Write yourself a letter stating your goals. Before you have your baby, write down or record your breastfeeding goals. Having written documentation of your goals can help you stick to them. Try to include some rationale for your goal to remind the future you who may be struggling why you feel so strongly about breastfeeding. Also, praise and reward yourself for hitting breastfeeding milestones. These personal incentives can really help keep you on track.
Don’t go it alone. It may feel like breastfeeding is only a 2-person sport, but you can actually rely on others for support. When breastfeeding gets really tough, solicit help in whatever way will offer you the most assistance. That may mean asking your partner or a friend to sit with you while breastfeeding, or attending a breastfeeding support group of other moms who are experiencing similar feelings as you. If you are having trouble breastfeeding, seek help from your pediatrician, nurse or a lactation consultant.
Avoid being a martyr. Breastfeeding should come from a place of love. Feeling enslaved to breastfeeding won’t help you remain motivated. Instead, find ways to make breastfeeding easier, such as investing in a great dual-electric pump, a solid breastfeeding pillow and a comfy breastfeeding chair. Also, while motherhood does require some sacrifices, your own health should not be one of them. Take care of yourself, even if it means that someone else gives your baby a breast milk bottle every once in awhile. In the long run, a healthy mother will empower your breastfeeding journey.
We hope you find these motivational breastfeeding thoughts inspiring! Happy Breastfeeding!