Dear Diary,

Sometimes it’s the people who are the closest to you that discourage you the most. My decision to breastfeed my daughter almost four years ago was met with cynicism. I remember sharing the special news that my husband and I were expecting our first child. Everyone was excited for us, and many asked if I planned on nursing. Without hesitation, I said yes and went on to explain that I wanted to do it for a year.I had already been doing research on the benefits of breastfeeding. I had friends who had successfully done it, and shared their experiences. But there were a select few who weren’t so supportive. It wasn’t that they were trying to be negative. I just think they weren’t educated about the subject matter.

Some people would say that three months of breast milk is all a baby needs. Studies have shown that babies benefit from nursing a lot longer, so I decided early on that I was in it for the long haul. After delivering my daughter, I immediately began nursing. However, it did take a few tries before she latched on. For some reason, my mom didn’t believe she was getting enough milk, and asked the nurse to order formula. I politely informed the nurse that I had no intention of feeding my daughter formula. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with giving a child the supplement. In fact, I kept a can on hand just in case I ever ran low. In retrospect, I’m so glad I stuck to my guns.

Ultimately, I surpassed my goal of nursing for a year. I breastfed my daughter for two years, and I’ve been nursing my son for seven months now. I didn’t have to dip into my formula stash, but periodically needed to grab some breast milk that I had in the freezer. If you plan to nurse your baby, here are a few tips to successfully breastfeed. This has helped me during my experience. Hopefully, it can do the same for you.

Do Your Research

It’s important to read about the benefits on breastfeeding. You’d be surprise about how much valuable information there is to make your experience better for you and your baby.

Be Encouraged

There were times that I was in pain. If you’re nursing for the first time, then you know what I mean. Cracked nipples aren’t fun. Creams, ice, and home remedies helped a little, but didn’t eliminate my stinging buds.

Pump & Store

Once my milk came in, I’d pumped and put it away in the freezer in case I even ran low.

Look for Support

Whenever I’d get tired and cranky from being up all night, my husband was there to pick up the slack. I also reached out to lactation specialists and friends for advice.

Enjoy it!

It can be a bit challenging to have a successful nursing experience. But, once you get into a groove, it will get easier. So, have fun bonding with your little one because it’ll all be over before you know it.
Balancing career and motherhood is no easy feat. But, Stacy-Ann Gooden is having fun trying to figure it all out. She spends her day in front of the camera forecasting the weather. But, her most important role is being a wife and mom. Between tracking storms and chasing after her little ones, you can find her blogging about her nursing experience along with her many adventures at Weather Anchor Mama. She successfully breastfed her first child for two years, and now she’s happy to be doing it all over again. Stacy-Ann and her husband welcomed baby number two in July 2013. Follow Stacy-Ann on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

About The Author

#Chocolate Milk

Throughout August, in celebration of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Diary of a First Time Mom will publish a new nursing story each day, written by 31+ black mom bloggers. DFTM Creator Heather Hopson asked each blogger to submit a personal breastfeeding story, and they immediately emailed their experiences—both good and bad. They wrote about everything from allergies and ignorance to pumping and working. Heather curated this collection to educate other African-American women about breastfeeding. That way, they will be armed with information to make a decision. Heather hopes you will join the movement on Twitter. Follow @dearmomdiary and the participants. You can check the #ChocolateMilk blogger ambassador list! Be sure to tweet using #ChocolateMilk. And don’t forget to share your story by clicking on Breastfeeding→ Lactation Nation on the menu bar above. Meanwhile, let us know in the comment box below why you nursed—or didn’t.

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