When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier? You’ll Be Surprised!
After a few days of exclusively breastfeeding your child, you might be freaking out a bit this time. You might be wondering when does breastfeeding get easier. Parents, especially first-timers tend to look for answers to this question and to stay optimistic as well.
Data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the percentage of exclusively breastfeeding mothers significantly drops when the baby reached six months. We believe that this is because moms might be willing to breastfeed their baby but they face challenges along the way.
What Could Be the Problem?
The said data could be alarming but also aims to tell us that mommies might not be getting the support they need. Some of them might not know the advantages of breastfeeding to their health. What most women don’t realize is that breastfeeding is a serious commitment and requires a lifestyle change.
If this is your first baby, you could also be a bit shock of the time involved in breastfeeding and your dedication to wake up every two or three hours to feed your baby. Don’t fret! Breastfeeding tend to get crazier before it gets better and easier!
Babies grow rapidly thus, their sleeping patterns, nursing habits and ways will change quickly as well! Just when you think that everything is going fine, growth spurt suddenly hits your baby.
Breastfeeding moms will have different challenges to face so most of them are asking if there is a specific learning curve with breastfeeding.
Expect the following scenario that you could encounter as you exclusively breastfeed your child:
- The first week to two weeks of breastfeeding is the trial and error stage. You will be learning a lot during this phase such as how to latch the baby to your breast, the best positions for breastfeeding or how to establish your milk supply.
- You also have to endure engorgement of your breasts and cracked nipples. Remember that all of these too, shall pass but if they persist, consult your physician.
- While you are learning this new skill, your baby is learning as well. Some mothers got the hang of it in as early as one day while some said it took them several months. Still, breastfeeding does get easier in time.
- Expect growth spurts. It could come around after two weeks or two months. You will experience cluster feeding during this time. Basically, your baby would want to feed for hours but this is temporary.
- Fluctuating milk supply is also normal at this phase. A hand pump or electric pump could save the day. The baby could appear hungrier during growth spurt stage but it doesn’t mean he is not getting adequate milk from you.
- Breastfeeding for the first time might not be a breeze. You might feel tired, numb, in pain especially if you underwent caesarean section or drugged up. Remember that your baby knows how to suck but it is your responsibility to teach him how to latch properly.
- If you don’t know how to do it, ask someone to teach you. It could be your doctor, the nurse at the hospital or a family member.
So When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier? Got Clues?
Apparently, every mom and child are unique so we cannot really say when breastfeeding gets better or easier. You will get used to it and your baby will soon be in sync with you.
Aside from cluster feeding, your baby could also be fussy in the late afternoon or early evening which others called as the “witching hour”. Babies are usually unhappy around this time and this could last for six weeks or even up to four months.
According to Dr. Harvey Karp, the author of the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, one of the five effective techniques to calm your baby during the witching hour is sucking. Breastfeeding is an efficient method to get through this period.
Just like the witching hour or the growth spurt period, breastfeeding tends to get better after the baby’s first two months. This could be hard at times but mommies who overcome these challenges swear that it was worth it in the long run.
Likewise, it will be easier for you to breastfeed in public if you do experience doing it with other moms. Know your right to nurse in public places. Consider doing it so you will get the hang of feeding your baby anytime, anywhere possible.
What Moms Can Do
Breastfeeding could be tiring or tedious for some moms and we don’t want all of your to feel that way. Below are some suggestions so you can take it slowly and get the hang of it.
- At the onset of your breastfeeding journey, ensure that you have a solid support system such as friends, your partner and your family.
- Educate yourself about breastfeeding and know what to expect. Learn the preparations and possible challenges you might encounter. The more knowledgeable you are about this matter, the more confident you will become.
- Not sure about proper lactation or having issues with milk supply? Seek professional help from breastfeeding counselors. There are also plenty of forums, websites and pages online that can help you and give you advice about breastfeeding.
- Don’t forget the technical aspects of breastfeeding such as proper positioning of the baby when latching.
- Use all the possible resources available. Fortunately, there are various breastfeeding support groups and organizations that could help you with your goal.
- Be patient and never give up. Remember that you are doing this for the welfare of your child. We know how magical breast milk is, plus it can help you save a lot on formula.
Expect your baby to become fussy until eight weeks old but this will become less as he or she starts to interact with you and the people around. At three months, things will be better and easier including breastfeeding. You will most likely to get longer and restful sleep as feeding time become predictable.
You Will Get through This
We know you will and just like any other breastfeeding story, the whole journey will start off fast and furious! Of course, most of us want to know when does breastfeeding get easier so let’s just say, 6-8 weeks of the baby’s life tend to be fussy and crazy!
This is a huge commitment and others find it hard so they end up weaning their child as early as six months old. We like you to go beyond that so if you have more questions about breastfeeding, drop your message here!