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I really want to nurse my baby, but I didn’t expect it to be so hard. Were you able to do it?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Yes, but breastfeeding is very hard. You have to mentally prepare yourself that it is not going to be easy for the first few weeks. Breastfeeding is a full-time job for the first few weeks at least. Even after that, it’s a huge adjustment to be the primary source of nutrition for a helpless newborn. This is hard if you’re used to being on your own and getting out of the house. I had big, fat, healthy, 9- and 10-pound babies who were hungry. I felt like I was chained to my recliner for at least their first two months. Breastfeeding is a commitment, and you have to be well prepared for that. Another challenge is that babies aren’t born knowing how to breastfeed. I needed three or four visits with a lactation consultant to figure out how to do it. When you’re in the hospital, ask to meet the lactation consultant, and get her name and number so you can call her when you’re home if you need to. My first baby lost 10 percent of her body weight waiting for my milk to come in and for me to learn how to breastfeed correctly. It’s so helpful if you know a lactation consultant to turn to when you need help and support.

Kristin C. Lyle, MD, FAAP, a mom of three girls and disaster medical director at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, both in Little Rock

Mommy MD Guides-Recommended Product Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover

Moms know breastfeeding is 24/7 – so it should be comfortable. That’s even more important when you’re out and about with your baby. Bebe au Lait revolutionized breastfeeding in public in 2004 by creating a stylish solution – a line of nursing covers that are both functional and fabulous.  Bebe au Lait designed its nursing covers with a patented rigid neckline that promotes bonding between Mom and Baby by allowing an unobstructed view of baby during nursing. The covers are perfectly sized to give you the ultimate privacy, and are available in a wide variety of beautiful prints in high quality fabrics. Each cover also features internal terry cloth pockets that double as small item storage and as a quick clean up cloth after nursing. They can also be used as a sunshade over a front carrier. You can buy Bebe au Lait nursing covers and Bebe au Lait’s, Hooter Hiders for around $35. They’re available online at http://www.bebeaulait.com/, through specialty retailers and national retail chains such as Babies R Us and Nordstrom.

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.