The start of a new year is the perfect time to focus on making improvements in your life by making resolutions. Many nursing moms choose to make breastfeeding goals at the start of a new year or right after they give birth. Setting realistic, positive goals for breastfeeding can help you get through any rough patches that you and your little one may have on your nursing journey.
Why Setting Breastfeeding Goals is Important
Breast milk is the most nutritious food that you can give your new little one: it can help strengthen your little one’s immune system and provides all of the nutrition he or she needs. Breastfeeding can also help you bond with your baby. Though 81% of moms breastfeed their babies right after birth, this number declines as the baby grows. Setting goals can help set you and your new baby up for a successful breastfeeding journey no matter how long you choose to nurse.
How to Make Goals
By setting a goal, you are making the decision that you want to do something or change something about your life. Goals should be both specific and reasonable, however, or you may quickly feel “burned out.” It’s a good idea to set both long-term goals and smaller short-term goals in order to help you reach your ultimate goal. For example, if you wanted to make a goal to exercise more, a good long-term goal would be to run 100 miles this year, and a short-term goal may be to run one mile a day, two days a week.
When making your breastfeeding goals, it’s a great idea to also give yourself some rewards for meeting your goals. You are a hard-working, breastfeeding mom who is giving your all to your family. Reward yourself when you reach a goal, no matter how small, with a good book, a new outfit or an afternoon of guilt-free binge-watching to recognize your accomplishments.
Example of Breastfeeding Goals
Breastfeed Until My Baby is at Least Six Months Old
The World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding during the first six months of life and then solid foods and breast milk until the baby is at least one year old. Making a goal to breastfeed your little one for at least six months will help give him or her the best nutritious start in their life. In the beginning, six months may seem like an impossibly long time. Making short-term goals, such as breastfeeding for one week or one month at a time, can help you reach this goal.
Breastfeed My Baby in the Morning and Night
If you are a working mom, you may choose to only breastfeed when you are home with your baby in the morning and night, and have a caregiver give your baby pumped milk or formula during the day. Any breast milk you give your baby will help boost his or her immune system and provides protection against infections. Setting a goal to nurse during these times only will help take the pressure off of you and will help you continue to nurse your little one as he or she grows.
Pump Eight Times a Day
If you aren’t able to nurse your baby and want to still provide him or her breast milk, pumping is a great option. Experts recommend that pumping moms pump eight to 10 times a day in order to provide enough milk for their little one. Pumping will help provide your little one all of the benefits of breast milk while allowing others to help feed your little one.
Things to Keep in Mind When Making Resolutions
Now that you have an idea of why it’s important to make goals and some examples of realistic breastfeeding goals, you probably want to, well, go and make those goals. While you make your goals, however, keep the following in mind:
- Never compare yourself to others. Ultimately, only you know your unique situation and what’s right for your family. Set your own personal goals and be confident in knowing you are doing the best you can.
- Stay positive. If you are having a bad day, take a deep breath. Small setbacks don’t mean that you won’t ultimately reach your goals.
- Practice self-care. When you are breastfeeding or pumping a baby, it’s easy to be so focused on others that you forget about yourself. Caring for yourself, however, is one of the best things you can do for your family.
Let Ameda Help You Reach Your Goals
Breast pumps can help you reach your breastfeeding goals, no matter what they may be. The caring customer service representatives at Ameda Direct can help you find the perfect insurance-provided breast pump for you at little or no cost. Contact us today to get started and find out more about how our breast pumps can make your life easier.