Following childbirth, mothers lactate. Their breasts produce milk, which is the only source of food for a newborn baby, at least for the first 6 months after labour.
While experienced mothers have had their share of trials and tribulations, new mothers have a lot to learn post pregnancy.
Breastfeeding may seem very easy but it’s one of the biggest challenges and concerns of a new lactating mother.
In trying to be perfect, women often tend to make mistakes which might not be very healthy physically and mentally.
That said, here are some mistakes you should avoid if you’re a new mom.
1. You think pain is normal
Initially, breastfeeding can be discomforting. However, long prolonged pain should not be considered normal. If the pain from breastfeeding lingers on for a long time, it is important that you address it and visit a doctor. The causes can vary from person to person. From poor latch, wrong breastfeeding position to breast engorgement and tongue tie, many factors can lead to pain. This is why you should first accept that breastfeeding should not be painful and if it is, it should be checked and treated.
2. You have a schedule to breastfeed
Whether you’re someone who sticks to a schedule to breastfeed your baby, you can commit a few mistakes. It may sometimes deprive your infant of food when they’re actually hungry. You must understand that a baby has no control over when he or she feels hungry. That said, a mother’s milk should be given when the baby shows signs of hunger and not when the breastfeeding plan allows it.
3. You introduce your baby to a bottle too early
Many women introduce their infants to bottle feeding either due to family pressure or because they have to go back to their work. Feeding by bottle is a means of convenience and comfort. However, introducing a baby to it too early may pose some problems. It is important that you do not feed babies with bottles prior to establishing breastfeeding. While babies find it easy to suckle on a bottle, they may refuse to be breastfed later on. If in case you have to introduce bottle feeding due to some reason, do so at 6-8 weeks and not before that.
4. You believe breastmilk and formula milk are the same
As far as breastmilk and formula milk is concerned, both are completely different. The former is a natural source of food for the newborns, contents of which evolve as the baby’s needs change. Breast Milk contains high nutritional value and breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the baby. On the contrary, formula milk has some amount of nutrition but does not contain the immunity-boosting elements present in breastmilk. It is only to be given to infants on the advice of the physician or during an emergency.
5. You hesitate to ask for help
Breastfeeding is a natural process that is easy and instinctive. However, it is not devoid of challenges, which may lead you to make certain mistakes. That said, not asking for help from your spouse, your elders or your friends will only make things more difficult. Communicating with your loved ones and asking them for support and tips is always beneficial to you and your baby. Given that some may have prior experience in breastfeeding, you will get a better insight into how things function.