Finally, for those entering their own breastfeeding journey, here are the simple tips I learned along the way:
Find a breast friend. Tap into your sage circle of mothers and find the one whose situation mirrors yours. For me, it was my mentors who had both deftly scaled the corporate ladders and nursed like the super moms they are. If they could do it in spite of their schedule and executive demands, I certainly could, and it helped immensely to have their support and encouragement.
Don’t put a time limit on it. Sure, we all want the year that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, but it can be less and it could be longer. When you put a deadline on it, it leans more towards another looming task in an already over-demanding world. This really is a journey that’s to be taken one day at a time. You know that old saying, “It’s not how fast you go, it’s how you get there”? Well, I can’t think of anything more appropriately applied than nursing.
Nurture yourself. Breastfeeding is a perpetual give and take where every woman’s body takes on the demands differently. Don’t be afraid to prioritize yourself so you can remain the ultimate source of nutrition for your baby. Muster the courage to meet your own demands, from creating a pleasant nursing environment to relinquishing some of the other baby duties, from bottle washing to burping, to a partner. My husband graciously stood by our “I feed, you clean” mantra. After all, it was the least he could do to make up for what Mother Nature left off of him.