Breastfeeding looks so easy until it's one's own turn to do so. The prenatal classes prepare moms for it, but many moms find their own experience differs from the theory they learned. However, there are times when moms are fed up with experience and resort to alternative milk options like milk powder or cow milk. Even though mom's milk is best for the baby, sometimes the baby may not want to drink the milk. It is not as easy as just popping into the baby's mouth. There is a need for the milk to be produced and in the quantity that satisfies the baby's need. Also, the mother feels some discomfort, especially if the baby clutches the wrong way.
Every mom has their own experience of breastfeeding that differs from what they learn during prenatal clinics. Moms do face challenges and mistakes while breastfeeding, and they try to work a way through them. There is so much information out there that can be found in the comfort of the home. Some may be helpful, while some requires some discretion. How a baby feeds is very important regardless of their preferred meal. It also matters how the baby is positioned, but sometimes the baby may dictate how they want to be positioned especially as they grow older. Sometimes it can be frustrating to the mother, since the baby needs to be satisfied, which in turns gives everyone peace of mind. Let us take a look at some of the mistakes moms do while breastfeeding.
20 Assuming you do not need help
Who needs help when breastfeeding is such an easy and practical process? The assumption that breastfeeding is easy and requires no help is a misconception. Babies demand a lot of attention even when they are asleep, their needs must be met. Just when mom plans to achieve her personal daily targets, the thought of breastfeeding immediately takes over when the baby wakes up or it is time to feed the baby. There is no harm in getting some help. You can pump some milk and allow others to help feed the baby, including your husband. This allows you to attend to other responsibilities or even take naps so as to rejuvenate.
19 Stress over seeking alternatives
Gone are the days when the baby would desire more milk than you can provide and you end up giving them porridge or soup as an alternative to keep their stomach occupied until the next meal. It can be stressful when you are not producing enough milk for the baby and they want to feed almost every time they wake up, or the pumped milk goes bad. The fear of providing alternative milk arises, especially when there is a strict golden rule of sticking to breastmilk for almost six months. Moms sometimes feel frustrated and want to jump to the bottle or seek other alternatives. While seeking alternatives for feeding the baby, moms can equally increase the intake of fluids to ensure a continuous flow of milk. However, it is not a terrible idea to switch to formula milk where emergencies arise, but as directed by the physician.
18 Believing everything you hear or read
Grapevine has a lot of juicy stories. If you have not heard of something from someone, then you must have read it somewhere. However, the facts only lie with the object of discussion. Likewise, there is so much information about breastfeeding and each one's experience varies from the other. This information may trigger mistakes or consequences or may be helpful one way or another. During prenatal classes or just after delivery, you will receive information on breastfeeding which will guide you to compare with the widespread information that is out there. Every child is different and their demands vary from one to another, therefore it will require one to refer to the physician's advice where required. Not everything that is out there is entirely gospel truth.
17 No expense while breastfeeding
It is easy to assume that breastfeeding incurs no cost at all. In fact, it may be assumed that the milk is naturally generated and therefore very little or no input is required to produce milk for the baby. Actually, there is a lot invested to ensure that the baby has enough breastmilk to last them for more than one year. Moms have to eat well and take lots of fluids, be in good health, ensure good hygiene so as to provide a consistent flow of milk for the baby, baby feeding products, pumps among other needs. The costs may look minimal, but that is what contributes towards the baby’s development.
16 Responding to other's opinion
When you have a baby, you should expect other people’s opinions from their personal experience or what they have read or heard. You will not miss a comment or two especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Some will assume that you haven’t fed your baby and that is why they keep waking up or tossing and turning or a grumpy and crying most of the time. It can be rather frustrating and trying at the same time. However, you have an opportunity to choose what opinion to keep and what to drop and how to respond to criticism. You also have an opportunity to learn from your baby and create your own experiences, therefore, not every comment is worth responding to, but you can share your feelings about the comments especially where they negatively affect you.
15 Giving the baby all the attention and not yourself
Breastfeeding is the beginning of a baby's lifeline and channel of development. Moms take it very seriously to ensure that there is enough milk for the baby to feed on while receiving the right nutrients. At this point, moms may face different challenges and frustrations, which may lead to not having time for yourself and eventually affect your relationship with others. While the attention to the baby is paramount, taking care of yourself also boosts your esteem and rejuvenates any lost energy. However engaging breastfeeding may be, it is good to take some time out to meet your needs. You can ask for extra help from the family members or get a babysitter.
14 Avoiding breastfeeding when mom is sick
In most situations when moms have infections or a common cold or flu, the first thing in mind is that the baby’s safety always comes first. There is a fear that the baby may contract the infection through breastmilk and also may be affected by the medication that the mother is taking. It is natural to assume so. However, breastfeeding the baby protects them from illnesses and is good for the baby. Unless it is communicated by the physician and for certain health reasons, babies should continue receiving breastmilk to strengthen their immune system as well as help in their development.
13 Worrying about breastfeeding in public
Babies may feel hungry at any time and any place. In public areas, they can cause a stir just to ensure that they are immediately fed. Some moms may gather the courage of feeding the baby in public, but there are others who still require a private location to feed their baby. It may seem uncomfortable to breastfeed in public, but when the baby is hungry, the only alternative is to find a comfortable place and feed the baby. The fashion industry has created some outfits that are suitable for nursing and you still look gorgeous at the same time. Some commuting vehicles also may have a private seat just for nursing moms especially if you require your own privacy. Just find a suitable place that both you and baby will be comfortable.
12 Thinking breastfeeding has an ideal position
From the onset, breastfeeding is not a walk in the park. The huddles leave achievements and lessons for every mom. Getting the right position to feed your baby can be a package with its own surprises. It takes a while before mom and the baby are comfortable with a particular position or another. When you have just taken a nap, then feeding hour begins, you may not be prepared to take the common sitting position that is commonly advocated for. However, some moms would choose to lie on their side as the baby feeds, or place a pillow to support the baby or just find a preferred comfortable position. The key factor is that both mom and baby are comfortable and the baby is latching and feeding well. If a certain position works for both of you, then adopt it by all means.
11 Not breastfeeding due to work
Just when your maternity leave is over, you would hope to have extra days to spend with the baby and watch them grow. However, as you resume work, there is a lot of anxiety over how to survive as a breastfeeding working mom. There are several alternatives to ensuring the baby is fed even while you are away. You can choose to use the pump and provide clear instructions of storage and feeding to whoever will be left responsible with the baby. With guidance from the physician, you may use formula or other alternatives as guided. This may give you more time to meet your targets at work and still ensure your baby gets the right nutrients.
10 Incorrect latching
The first time of breastfeeding feels uncomfortable and trying to get the right latch for the baby is another disaster. However, when you get the right latch, it may not be easy, but in the long run, it helps both mom and the baby. When the baby is not latching well, it affects the milk flow and they may end up swallowing more of air than milk; it also affects the baby’s stool and it also makes it painful to breastfeed. To get the right latch takes practice for both mom and baby. The right latching leads to less or no pain and the baby is comfortable and more satisfied.
9 Sticking to a schedule
When we listen to other moms’ experiences, we tend to collect the good part of their stories and strategies on the best way to avoid their struggles when it’s our turn. It may seem easy at first to not only have a schedule but maintaining the breastfeeding schedule. You may feed the baby after every two hours or tracking the feeding time to get the right schedule and everything looks great. However, the baby’s desires sometimes overrule the feeding schedule and it may become frustrating for both mom and the baby. If you begin to understand the baby’s feeding patterns, which may also vary from one child to another, you can try to develop a comfortable schedule that works for both mom and the baby.
8 Giving up and switching to formula
There are days when your milk supply is very low and you are frustrated over what the baby will feed on. Sometimes you may not be comfortable because it is your first time to breastfeed or it may not be working well with you. There are so many reasons above these mentioned ones that may lead you to give up breastfeeding and start the baby on formula. There are ways that can increase the milk supply without switching to formula, unless as directed by the physician. There are foods that can increase milk supply, or you can ensure that the baby feeds on both which increases the supply of milk. Also, you can find out from other moms’ experiences on breastfeeding and how they handle similar situations. There are different alternatives just before you give up.
7 Assuming pain is normal
When you take a glance at breastfeeding moms, it looks easy and it’s as if they face no challenges at all. When it comes to you and your baby, you tend to wonder if what you are experiencing is normal or just another issue that requires paying the doctor a visit. Pain while breastfeeding may be due to different factors, but some of the common reasons could be incorrect latching or delayed breastfeeding. When there is incorrect latching, one would experience cracks while delayed breastfeeding could lead to blocked ducts, engorgement among others. It is good to seek your physician’s advice on how to solve some of the problems and where it may require medical treatment.
6 Assuming the baby is full through short feedings
Being a new mom can be frightening when you realize the baby is gulping milk and not slowing down. You may tend to assume that they have had enough or had too little. Sometimes the milk can come out through the nose and you assume they are full. There are ways to check if the baby has had enough milk or not. One of the ways is checking if their stool colour is not normal. After every satisfying meal, most of us give a silent or loud burp. Likewise, the baby will confirm their satisfaction in a similar manner. Babies can continue feeding for a long time until they release themselves from the latch or sleep. Sometimes the baby may be very restless and always waking up in short intervals due to the short feedings. There are times your instincts may be right, however, you can still observe your baby while they feed to determine if they are satisfied or not.
5 Feeding any time the baby cries
When babies cry, they are sending messages of how they feel or they could just be responding to certain discomfort. They need someone to help them through their frustrations. Sometimes their cry, especially when they wake up, can be mistaken for hunger pangs. Although babies do not always cry because they are hungry, after spending some time with the baby, you can already determine when they need to be fed or they have a different need. The ways to determine if the baby is hungry or not vary but you would most likely see them leaning towards the chest or they are fidgeting.
4 You assume you have to cut things out of your menu
One of the desires of a mom is to have a healthy baby, and with that comes having a healthy diet. At the same time, there are fears of foods that may be harmful to both mom and the baby, and one may assume that cutting those foods out of the diet will reduce the level of effect on the baby. However, unless the physician suggests that there is a need to cut off some foods, you may just rely on the basic healthy diet for milk production and is healthy to your body and the baby. Moreover, what you take in may not have a direct effect on the baby unless it is suggested by your physician.
3 Delayed lactation after delivery
After delivering the baby, there are chances that moms may experience delayed supply of milk which may raise the stress levels. It could be immediately after delivery or as the baby is getting used to feeding. The pressure to feed your baby also affects the flow at the same time. At this point, you are both stressed and exhausted while thinking of ways to provide sufficient milk for the baby. The first remedy is to relax and take the best thing is to feed the baby and then take a nap and rest together before the next feed. There are different factors that may lead to delayed lactation. A healthy diet, a less stressful environment and taking lots of fluids may increase the supply of milk. Inform your physician who can advise on the steps to take especially where the milk flow is low.
2 Bottle feeding or breastfeeding
Deciding on whether to pump milk or directly breastfeed may be a question that some moms battle with. When the baby has options of feeding, whether, through the bottle or breastfeeding, it may also have its own challenges. With the bottle feeding method, the flow of milk may not be easily controlled as with breastfeeding as it gashes out of the bottle. Also, moms have to be careful when pumping, so as to avoid any injuries as well as contamination of the milk. With breastfeeding, once the baby is satisfied, it is easy to control the flow of milk, prevent risks of contamination as well as reduces the hustle of carrying around the pump.
1 Having a Wardrobe Malfunction
Wardrobe malfunctions could happen at any time to nursing moms. It could be wearing the wrong outfit which hinders access to nursing the baby or leaking stains on the outfits. Sometimes It is easy to assume that once the baby breastfeeds, you may not have any leakages. It may also get uncomfortable trying to breastfeed the baby while fumbling with your outfit especially if you like being discrete. There are various fashion tips for nursing moms which keep you looking great and comfortable, while still being able to breastfeed wherever you go. Nursing bras and nursing pads may reduce staining of outfits from the leaking as well as making it easier to feed the baby.