Breastfeeding for the first time can be exciting. It can also be nerve-wracking. Maybe you’ve had trouble in the past, you’re afraid nursing might be a trigger, or perhaps your baby has been in the NICU and you’re frightened. After all, the stigma surrounding moms who can't breastfeed is nothing short of intimidating. It’s understandable that some of us might need to talk ourselves up, and the points your pre-breastfeeding pep talk should hit should help ease you into nursing, whether it's your first time or your 100th time.
For me, breastfeeding was never easy. It never got easier, either. Even though my first time nursing my son appeared to be magical (probably because it was one of the first times I was allowed to hold my son, who was rushed to the NICU after he was born), I later realized that he wasn’t getting enough breast milk to fill his little tummy. It made me incredibly sad to realize that I could not do this thing that seemed to be (and that everyone says was) “so natural.”
One of the lactation consultants at my son’s hospital tried to give me something of a pep talk each time before every nursing session, and I do think it was helpful. It certainly didn’t fix my issues with undersupply, to be sure, but at the very least I felt better mentally and emotionally. So before you breastfeed your baby, try reminding yourself of these next few points: