Saturday, August 25, 2012

Practice makes perfect

I discovered this post in the archives and thought it was a positive message worth repeating. Even for those of us — especially those of us — who have troubles with breastfeeding, it's nice to know we'll have plenty of opportunities to keep practicing or figuring out a different system that works.

baby at his mother's breast
Mikko breastfeeding at 9 months old

Take two: As I said before, you get a lot of chances to practice breastfeeding.

The other day, Mikko made a big sucking sound, and I joked to him, "You call that a latch? Do it right!" I say such things for my own amusement, of course, and realize I'll have to stop once he's learned how to speak, so I'll enjoy it for now.

It got me thinking, though, that, while it's funny (to me) to yell at a nine-month-old for doing something poorly, he really should be an expert at breastfeeding at this point, and in fact he is. He corrected his latch immediately and got right back on.

I started doing the math, and estimating conservatively at an average of 10 feeds a day, I got the astounding figure of 2,700 nursing sessions since birth.

Wow!

If you do something 2,700 times, you get good at it. Both of us are breastfeeding pros now, in nine (pretty) short months, and of course it didn't take us that full time to become so expert.

I mention this as encouragement to new mothers moving into breastfeeding in a postpartum fog and wondering if it will ever feel natural. You'll get lots of chances to practice. If you "mess up" one try, another will come along in a matter of minutes or hours. You and your baby both are learning, and your opportunities to get it right will come along easily and naturally.

How long did it take for breastfeeding to feel natural for you? If you had problems with breastfeeding, how long did it take for you to settle into whatever feeding rhythm you moved into?

6 comments:

Janine said...

My son was really sleep after birth and it was hard to get him to nurse sometimes, but other than that he was a natural. I often say that I had nothing to do with how well breastfeeding went - He knew how to do it immediately. He attempted a breast crawl and nursed within an hour of his birth. We met with an LC when he was slow to gain weight but that all had to do with jaundice/sleepiness, not latch. He is two years old next month and still nurses well and often.

Tallulah@Bilingual Babes said...

By the end, I could walk around while nursing, take a phone call, prepare dinner..!

Kara said...

It took 10-12 weeks for me to hit that sweet spot, which is when I was finally able to ditch the stupid nipple shield we were given in the hospital. Never looked back. Nursed for 3.5 years. Miss it :(

Bianca @ The Pierogie Mama said...

The first nine weeks were REALLY hard. Cracked nipples, shallow latch, very long sessions, and I thought that I might be having vasospasms...then one day, it all clicked and went away. Penny is a week away from 6 months old and it's been so great. I hope to continue this for a long time!

sarahthedoula said...

Thank you so much for reposting this! Its wonderful to know that this will get easier! We're 3 weeks in and still struggling a little. <3

Momma Jorje said...

I love all the skin in that photo. It is so beautiful. Great post, too.

I honestly think we found our rhythm by the time we had been home for... well, we kept having to change things up in the beginning. But surely by 3 months.

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