If you’re wondering when breastfeeding will get easier it’s probably because you’re finding it painful, tiring, stressful, difficult or all of the above.
Having been told breastfeeding would naturally happen, I was really disappointed when I was unable to breastfeed my first baby.
I tried to get her to latch on but we just couldn’t get the hang of it, so I started expressing milk. By the time I was just able getting how I was supposed to help her latch, she was used to the bottle and that was that.
I expressed her feeds for her until she was five months. This was fine of course, but at the time I was so disappointed that breastfeeding did not work out the way I had hoped.
Armed with much better information, with my second baby it was a totally different story. There was pain, stress, fatigue and worry, but I knew all of those things were normal for breastfeeding. I persevered, looked at YouTube videos of woman latching their babies onto the breast and figured it out.
So how does this help you?
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding for whatever reason and wondering when the struggle will end, or thinking about quitting breastfeeding altogether, you need to remember this ONE thing.
Perseverance is absolutely key.
Your hormones are all over the place, you’re probably absolutely exhausted and you’re worried your baby is not getting enough milk.
However with breastfeeding, you need to know that it doesn’t just come naturally. Don’t believe everything you’re told. It’s a skill both you and your baby need to learn.
Related: Beginner’s tips for breastfeeding
Do not worry if your breastfeeding journey ends now
Now, before we go on I just wanted to say that the word “perseverance” should not be taken as pushy. Some ladies just cannot breastfeed. Either they don’t want to, or they just cannot do it. That is totally and utterly fine.
Breastfeeding your baby does not make you a good mother. You are a good mother as long as you feed and care for your baby, whether that be by breast or bottle.
This post is not about pushing you to breastfeed through depression and other struggles. If you do ultimately stop breast-feeding before you would have liked, this can be sad for you but please do not beat yourself up about it. There is so much more to being a mother than just breastfeeding.
Rather this post is about encouraging you to stick at it just one more day.
So when does breastfeeding get easier?
The typical answer to this question is by six to eight weeks. In my experience with my second baby this is absolutely true.
By six to eight weeks the nipple pain you may experience should have gone and your supply will have settled into a rhythm so you don’t get engorged, which can be seriously painful.
But we have a big BUT to this answer. Babies are growing and changing all of the time, which means their feeding habits and sleeping patterns are also changing all of the time.
So once you have got yourself into a routine and a rhythm and feel like you’re finally getting more sleep, your baby may hit a growth spurt. This can lead to frequent waking at night, cluster feeding in the evening and sore boobs as your baby places more demands on you.
This is all totally normal and that’s the second secret to when breastfeeding gets easier. Accepting that this behaviour and demand for food is normal.
It’s tiring, it can be painful and it can be stressful, but it’s all totally normal.
As new mamas we are often encouraged to get our babies into a routine, to get back to “normal”.
But when we accept that life will never be the same again and embrace that instead of fighting it, I think we have a much better chance of coping with the challenges of breastfeeding, and motherhood in general.
Breastfeeding gets easier when we accept that sometimes it can be really hard.
Although when you’re breastfeeding every day can feel like forever, it actually does not last that long.
Try to remind yourself to keep trying for just one more day.
When it comes to things that are really troubling you, such as nipple pain, try a nipple cream like Lansinoh and go topless whenever you can to help them heal.
There are some really handy products that can help you stick with it too, so check out my post on the best breastfeeding products.
I hope this post gave you some tips and will help you to feel better about breastfeeding. Please ask any questions you may have, I would love to help!
Related: Baby sleep tips