Thursday, October 11, 2012

Setting Goals for Breastfeeding

Setting goals while breastfeeding is quite important.  It helps you to feel like you are accomplishing something and makes it easier to keep going when the going gets rough.  I think one of the keys to my success with my breastfeeding journey  was the fact that I set small and manageable goals.

I started out planning to breastfeed for the first six months and then reevaluate.  Well that was too lofty of a goal when everything went wrong.  So I set smaller goals.  My first goal was to get through the first month.  Mastitis nearly did me in though at 3 weeks.  Fenugreek and blessed thistle helped me pump up my milk supply and I hit that first goal of a month.

My next goal was to make it until I went back to work at three months.  That was the easiest goal by far since by 6 weeks, breastfeeding was going smoothly.  With each of these goals, I awarded myself with a small present so I felt even more pumped (haha no pun intended) to keep on meeting these goals.  I treated myself to a cute owl diaper when I hit that mark.

Thirsties Duo Diaper in Hoot
So the next goal I set and met (ohh I could be Dr. Suess) was to make it a month as a pumping/ working mom.  This was a bit of a struggle for me as my PPD had kicked it up a notch and I was also incredibly anxious when I had to go back to work.  I hated being away from Destructo and I hated pumping.  But again I persevered through and met that goal and got a sweet sweet Sophie as a reward.

Destructo and his sweet Sophie giraffe
My next goal was six months and then a year.  I hit those goals fairly effortlessly and really went into cruise control then since I got to stop pumping at work.  Oh let me tell you that was a happy day and a little sad too.  But it was so nice to get to have actual lunch breaks again.  For one of these goals, I got this adorable diaper with equations on it.  Yes the dork in me was shining through brightly on that day.
Bumgenius 4.0 in Albert

Currently I am still breastfeeding Destructo.  I am not sure when I plan to quit.  I don't think I really have any more goals or plans.  I am hoping that he will self wean between now and two.  If not, maybe I will force weaning on him or maybe I won't.  If nursing twice a day still works for him and for me, well then we will just keep on going I suppose.  This is truly the best time of breastfeeding in my opinion.  The stress of breast milk being his number one nutrition source is gone.  The stress of will my milk supply dry up is gone.  It is just all immune system benefits and bonding from here on out.

Here are my words of encouragement for new breastfeeding moms in case any of my lovely readers are in the first few weeks of breastfeeding confusingness.  Just be easy on yourself.  It is a learning process and set small goals.  They are much easier to accomplish.  Oh and pat yourself on the back as well.  Any breast milk your baby gets is better than none!  Breastfeeding is a long and sometimes tough road, but incredibly worth it.

Linked Up at:
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Breastfeeding Blog Hop
Mama Moment Mondays
Monday Musings
Monday Mom Musings
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18 comments:

  1. I remember taking a breadtfeeding class where the lady said if it hurts you are doing it wrong. Well lady, you were so wrong! I was doing everything g right Nd it still hurt like. Mother! Small goals are such a good idea!

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  2. you go babe...what an accomplishment.

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  3. I realized the importance of short-term goals too! My original plan was 1 year... and then she was born, and it was hard, it hurt, she was losing weight, and I was a mess. I made the goal to make it to 1 month, then three. Right now my goal is to make it through one month of being back at work. Deep down I still want to breastfeed until she self-weans, but I know I've already given her so much, and I have to be proud of myself for that. Congrats on making it as far as you have!

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  4. I love that you rewarded yourself! I think that I might reward myself, too, especially since things are getting a bit difficult with Lily. Thanks for linking up with the Breastfeeding Blog Hop! ~Jeniffer

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    1. It is the way to go. I always will try harder if I feel like I am getting something cool out of it. You know other than the benefits of breastfeeding, bonding, etc.

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  5. Goals really make a difference! As an exclusive pumper, I don't think I would have been able to endure for a year without little goals and milestones. I love how you rewarded yourself :), I'll have to add that next time! :)

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    1. The rewards were what got me through some of the crappy days. So was the advice, never quit on a bad day. I admire you for making it exclusively pumping. That is even harder than my pumping only while at work. Go you!

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  6. This is great advice! My first child just self weaned a couple months ago at 16 months old. The first few months, though, were all about making it through one week at a time! Congratulations on your success here! It is truly an accomplishment!

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    1. Thanks! Congrats on your success as well. I wonder when Destructo will self wean. He is 17 months right now.

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  7. Thanks for the great advice! I am really wanting to breastfeed so it's good for me to hear some practical advice on it. I'm hosting a mom's linky party today and would love for you to stop by and link up!

    http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/

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  8. This is a great idea. Small goals are a great way to make BIG goals seem more achievable. The hoot diaper is one of my faves. I won this one in a giveaway, and it is still too big for my daughter, but I can't wait to use it when she gains a little weight. Thanks for partying with me, Melissa.

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  9. Short term goals are wonderful!! It makes it easier {IMO} persevering and meeting a longer term goal. I like that you awarded yourself and son with various items.

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  10. Amazing! I set short term goals as well. It really helped me along the way for my third child. Here we are at 2 years already. :)

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    1. You do just have to take it day by day to make it through the tough early days.

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  11. I love the rewarding yourself and baby idea.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this gem with us again! I really need to find a way to reward myself. ;) ~Jeniffer

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    1. You do. We deserve rewards as breastfeeding mommies.

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