Should I breastfeed? Where do I even start?

So your mom and grandmother didn’t breastfeed. And now you’re 6 months pregnant and trying to decide if it’s for you…
This is a very common crossroads for many women to reach. They often feel as if they wouldn’t even know where to begin if they did decide they wanted to give it a go. I mean after all, who are they going to ask? Discussing boob-ish things with random people is not exactly ideal. Here are a few things to consider doing when trying to decide which way to go.

1.) Educate yourself. You want to make the best decision for you and your baby. Don’t make it based on what other people think you should do or how you perceive that they will perceive you. You are an incredible mother whether you breastfeed or formula feed, so don’t attach your value to it. There are many benefits to breastfeeding such as health, money savings, bonding, and convenience. There are also things on the flip side to consider, you’re the only one that can do the feeding at 3 am(until you begin pumping and storing). Do some research on exactly what you’ll save or what breastmilk has to offer that formula doesn’t.

2.) Ask yourself: Would it hurt to try for two weeks? The worst thing that could happen is that you decide it’s not for you. Formula will always be available. The window to breastfeed is a little more tricky. It would be much easier to experiment with breastfeeding and then decide to go the formula route than it would be to do the reverse (although not impossible). This even ensures that your baby will get that precious colostrum in those first few days, lining and protecting her gut and providing essential nutrients. Breastfeeding for any amount of time can never turn into a waste.

3.) Find some support. Ideally, this would be your spouse or significant other. But your mom, sister, or friend can play the role as well. It’s hard to stay encouraged in the middle of the night trying to breastfeed every few hours, so having that person that is on your side is essential. We all need a cheerleader. Whichever route you choose, if your support is your spouse, make sure you are both on the same page, this just makes everything easier. There are also many breastfeeding support groups that you can attend. You never have to feel alone.

4.) Get your supplies. If you choose to breastfeed, a lactation consultant is a fantastic resource to help you pick out the best pump for your situation and to guide you as you pick out correct flange sizes, nipple creams, hand pumps, and storage bags. Making this contact before your baby is born can be really helpful once your bundle does arrive. It’s one less expert you have to find while juggling a newborn. If you choose to formula feed, having a few bottle options and formula options lined up can be really helpful, although this typically ends up being trial and error.

You might be asking yourself at this point…if this lady is a breastfeeding expert why is she somewhat advocating for formula? Good question. I am an advocate for you. While I do think breastfeeding is best when possible, I also think your sanity is of utmost importance. You have to do what is best for you, because at the end of the day as long as that baby is held and loved and nurtured and fed… it’s going to be ok. I’ll help you however you choose to feed. Because I’m on YOUR side.