By Katharina Siemens
Breastfeeding for the first time tends to be a pretty steep learning curve. The more you know, the more empowered you’ll be. Here’s a list of the most common mistakes new breastfeeding moms make:
No support in place
New moms need to ensure that breastfeeding support is in place before baby arrives. There are two completely different types of support:
- Your personal breastfeeding cheerleading squad, like your husband, your mom, your sister, or a dear friend. Be sure to share with them how important breastfeeding is to you. Count on them for moral support and advice -- when asked.
- The experts concerning all things breastfeeding are our lovely lactation consultants, with Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) being the ultimate experts. Be sure you have the contact for a local IBCLC on speed dial before you deliver your baby.
Misreading hunger cues
In the beginning, every cry may seem like a hunger cry. As you get to know your baby, you’ll soon become better at distinguishing a “hunger” cry from a “tired” or a “gassy” cry. Also, remember that late afternoon is “witching hour.” Babies tend to get extra grouchy at this time, but it does not necessarily mean they are hungry. Did you know that a baby’s hands are a built in fuel gauge? Tight hands or fists, while nursing, mean “I’m still hungry,” while relaxed, pudgy hands mean “I’m full now.”
Worrying about other’s opinions
You’re the mama, and you know what’s best. Don’t allow anyone to smear their doubt and worry all over you – especially when they excuse their behavior as “I only want what’s best for you and your baby.” Trust your mama instincts and seek help from an IBCLC if you’re having problems. Don’t let your well-meaning aunt throw you off by saying, “Oh, your baby looks so hungry, are you sure you’ve got enough milk?”
Misunderstanding your milk supply
That brings us to one of the biggest fears that first time breastfeeding moms tend to have, “Will I have enough milk?” To combat this mostly illegitimate fear, it’s super empowering to fully understand how milk supply works. In a nutshell, the more milk that is removed from your breasts, the more milk your breasts will produce. Therefore, the emptier your breasts are the majority of the time, the more they will produce. That’s why trying to “save up milk” for a better feed is so hard on your milk supply. If you’re away from your baby, and baby gets a bottle, be sure to pump when you would normally nurse. Know that breastfeeding gets easier over time. After a while, your breasts will get the memo and produce just the right amount of milk. Bye, bye engorgement!
New moms don’t know what breastfeeding will be like one, three, or even six months down the road. Breastfeeding in public, may be super awkward at first, but at some point you won’t even remember it.
If you’ve already breastfeed your baby for a while, did you make any of these mistakes? Or can you share any other mistakes you’ve made?
Guest Blogger Bio:
Katharina is a mama of two hyper boys, who are 3 years and 1 year old. Both her boys were born with tongue ties, which made breastfeeding quite challenging for them. Katharina and her youngest still make a happy breastfeeding pair. She loves to share what she’s learnt with fellow moms. You can find her at http://www.breastfeedsuccessfully.com/.