The first time you breastfeed is definitely the most memorable. For some, it might be the only attempt at nursing. For others, it becomes a years-long bond with their little one. It can be a beautiful, painful, joyful, or upsetting experience, but either way you'll remember it. If you’re looking forward to the first time you feed your baby with your own body, know that there are things every mom should do during that first feeding so that, hopefully, you can have a great first experience.
My son had a complicated time coming into the world. He spent the first weeks of his life intubated in the NICU, fighting for his life. Not being able to breastfeed him at birth, or even get to hold him, was nothing short of difficult. Even when I finally got to hold him, the doctors wouldn’t allow me to breastfeed just yet. It broke my heart, but I hung in there and stayed by him. Wouldn’t you know it, the first time I finally got to breastfeed him, he took to it like a champ.
Sadly, I didn’t produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed, but I fed him all I could for four beautiful months. Looking back on our nursing relationship, I can truly say that my only regret is not being able to do some of the following things during our first breastfeeding experience.
Try To Relax
Some new moms stress during that first feeding, and that stress is definitely exasperated if the feeding isn’t going so well. Some babies struggle with that first feed, though, and that's OK. The only thing any new mom can do is just try your best, focus on relaxing, and staying present in the moment.
Find A Comfortable Position For You
The last thing you want to do is get your baby to latch only to realize your arms hurt or something is digging into your back. Adjust yourself prior to starting and, for the love of god, make sure to go pee beforehand. Otherwise, you’ll never be comfortable.
Have Someone Hand You A Nursing Pillow...
Speaking of comfort, a good nursing pillow will go a long way during feeds. They aren’t just for breastfeeding, either! I propped my little boy on one during his bottle feeds, too.
...And A Good Nursing Bra
You’ll probably want to have one of these on when you start so you can put away those boobs after and not leak all over the place. Make sure to shop for a few cozy ones (don’t worry about them being cute, no one cares and neither will you).
There’s a chance breastfeeding might make you extra thirsty. After all, you’re expelling a fluid from your body. Have some water around in case you get a bit parched.
Have Some Snacks Nearby
Breastfeeding makes a lot of moms extra hungry, too. Plus it depletes your energy. Make sure to have a few snacks on hand that will bring you back to speed.
Have Someone Take A Photo...
Please do this. Please. I regret that I didn’t have anyone around to take a photo of this beautiful first mom-moment for me. You’ll want to remember it, even if it’s the only time you do it. Maybe even especially if it’s the only time you do it.
...Or Maybe Even Take A Brelfie
If no one’s around, there’s nothing wrong with taking your own photo. Brelfies are where it at. There’s even a #brelfie hashtag (for real!)
Hum, Sing, Or Just Chat With Your Little One
You probably talked to your baby when they were still in utero, right? What makes this any different? Plus, babies love the sound of their mom’s voices, so go for it.
Just Enjoy The Moment
Did I mention you only get one first try at this? Of course, there may be countless others. I’ve had friends who breastfed all their kids for years on end. Still, there’s no reason to distract yourself with Netflix while you feed just yet (wait till the 10th or so feeding for that). Live in the now. It’s good stuff.