Breastfeeding your baby for the first time can be difficult and stressful at times. Here are 8 breastfeeding mistakes you don’t want to make.
Mistakes Are Common When Breastfeeding For The First Time
Breastfeeding has an enormous amount of benefits for you and your baby but it isn’t always straightforward. It is an amazing experience for both you and your baby but it can be stressful and frustrating when things aren’t going well. Breastfeeding mistakes are easily made.Breastfeeding is different for everyone, no two experiences are the same, your baby may not behave the same way your friends baby did. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. What worked for your friends may not work for you, you will find your own path. One that is right for you and your baby. When you are nursing for the first time you may feel nervous and overwhelmed and it’s natural that some breastfeeding mistakes may be made. You need to be aware that this does not mean you are failing. These mistakes can be fixed and if you seek help you can have a happy and successful breastfeeding experience. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
8 Common Breastfeeding Mistakes
Not Asking For Help
Breastfeeding can be difficult, frustrating and stressful. Don’t assume that it’s easy for everyone. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact it’s crucial that you get help if you are struggling, any problems you are having may get worse and continuing to struggle will cause unnecessary stress. Talking things through with friends and family may be all you need but if needed a lactation consultant can help with latching problems, supply issues, and sore nipples. There is also additional support in the form of an online breastfeeding class. This class is super affordable and can be worked through at your own pace in the comfort of your own home. You can learn to breastfeed in your pyjamas! The lessons are easy to follow and as you have lifetime access to the class you can refer back to it as many times as you need to. I wish I had this resource when my kids were born. It was a lifesaver for a close friend of mine and having seen the results she got I can strongly recommend it.
You can read about the benefits of taking a breastfeeding class here.Try to remember that you are not the first to struggle and needing to ask to for help does not mean you have failed. Also, if this is not your first child it’s important to remember that each child is different and no two breastfeeding experiences will be the same.
Dismissing Breast Pain As Normal
It is normal to feel some discomfort when you first start to breastfeed. However, ongoing pain from breastfeeding is usually a sign that there is a problem. The best thing you can do is to try and find the cause of the pain. This may be a poor latch, breast engorgement, or a problem with your baby’s tongue. It is a good idea to seek help from a lactation consultant who will help you determine the cause of the pain and how to treat it. They will advise you to see a doctor if necessary.
Trying To Stick To A Breastfeeding Schedule
Do not get trapped into thinking you need to keep you baby to strict feeding schedule. Your baby will eat when they are hungry or thirsty. Forcing them to feed at certain times will only end up causing stress for you and your baby.Baby’s know when they are hungry and will let you know when they want to feed. Of course there are guidelines about how often your baby should feed to be healthy but forcing a strict schedule may not be the answer. It is much more important to find a routine that works for both you and your baby.
Worrying Too Much About The Latch
Of course latch is important but you will be causing yourself unnecessary stress and worry if you are constantly striving for perfection. Your baby’s latch may not look like the one in the picture you have. Baby’s mouths are all different shapes and sizes, and the same goes for nipples. Your baby’s latch may look slightly different to your friends baby but this does not mean it’s not correct. Try not to worry too much about getting your baby’s mouth around the whole of your areola, it’s more important that the area beneath the nipple is covered rather than the area above. If your baby is feeding well and appears happy and healthy and you have no pain then you have nothing to worry about.
Not Taking Care Of Yourself
It is extremely important to stay as healthy as possible while you are breastfeeding.It is vital that you drink plenty of water and don’t allow yourself to get dehydrated. Your breast milk is 80% water so if your water intake is low, your milk supply will also be low. Try to drink at least 36 ounces of water per day. You can infuse water with fresh fruit for flavour or try coconut water. A nutritious, well balanced diet will also help keep you healthy. Getting enough sleep is very important. A good nights sleep should be a priority when breastfeeding. You are going to feel exhausted a lot of the time and yes, you will be up feeding through the night but you should still try to get as much rest as possible. Stress can be caused by lack of sleep and this could lead to problems with your milk supply.Asking friends and family to help out for a short time during the day so you can take a nap would be extremely beneficial.
Introducing The Bottle Too Soon
It is advisable to wait at least a month before introducing artificial nipples from bottles and pacifiers.You and your baby need plenty of time to practice breastfeeding. You need to work out the best positions for you and your baby and give your baby time to latch properly. The different feel and smell of the bottle may confuse a very young baby and cause unnecessary breastfeeding issues. Because the bottle is easier to latch onto and may have a faster flow of milk there is a risk of your baby developing a preference for bottle feeding. This could cause baby to refuse to feed from the breast.
Not Wearing A Suitable Nursing Bra
Wearing the correct bra is extremely important for the health of your breasts while you are breastfeeding. Wearing a bra that is too tight can put your breasts at risk of complications. You need to ensure you choose a nursing bra that is the correct size. It should also allow for the times when your breasts will expand and enable you to breastfeed easily.
Only Feeding From One Breast
This is one of the most common breastfeeding mistakes made by new moms. It is important that you alternate between breasts during a feed to ensure that both breasts produce enough milk. It is generally advised to start the feed with one breast and finish with the other, giving an equal amount of time to each breast. Not feeding from both breasts could lead to one breast becoming engorged, causing you pain and possibly infection.