Breastfeeding is an important and beautiful element of parenting, with various advantages for both the mother and the baby. As natural as breastfeeding may feel, it’s not always easy. There is a lot that can go wrong with nursing, from choosing a comfortable breastfeeding position to ensuring that the baby is latching properly. Unfortunately, new mothers frequently make blunders that negatively impair their breastfeeding journey. Therefore, mothers must recognize and avoid these blunders to foster a successful and joyful breastfeeding experience.
Some of the most common breastfeeding mistakes every mother should avoid –
● Poor Latch
A proper latch is one of the most important components of breastfeeding. A poor latch can result in ineffective milk transfer, painful nipples, and insufficient milk supply. To avoid this error, make sure the baby’s mouth covers not only the nipple but also an adequate portion of the areola.
● Ignoring Hunger Cues
Babies possess unique eating patterns, and it is crucial to promptly identify their hunger signals. Waiting for a baby to cry as a sign of hunger can hinder breastfeeding efforts. By recognizing early hunger symptoms such as lip smacking, rooting, or putting hands to mouth, it is advisable to offer the breast and ensure that the baby burps after each feeding. Swiftly responding to hunger cues not only minimizes frustration but also enhances the likelihood of successful nursing.
● Inconsistent Feeding Schedule
Establishing a consistent feeding schedule can be beneficial for both the mother and the baby. Babies thrive on routine, and breastfeeding at regular intervals helps stimulate milk production and maintain a healthy milk supply. Avoiding long gaps between feedings and ensuring that the baby receives frequent, adequate feeds help prevent issues such as engorgement and low milk supply.
● Supplementing with Formula
One common breastfeeding mistake that every mother should avoid is supplementing with the formula too soon. While there may be valid reasons to introduce formula, such as low milk supply or medical concerns, it is important to understand the potential impact it can have on breastfeeding. Early formula supplementation can interfere with establishing a sufficient milk supply and disrupt the delicate balance of demand and supply between the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding works on a principle of supply and demand, and supplementing with formula can decrease the demand for breast milk, leading to decreased milk production. It is crucial to seek guidance from a lactation consultant or healthcare professional before considering formula supplementation to ensure it is necessary and done in a way that supports successful breastfeeding.
● Inadequate Breast Emptying
Ensuring that the breasts are adequately emptied during each feeding is crucial for maintaining milk production. Let the baby feed from one breast for a sufficient duration before switching to the other breast. Ensure they’ve received both foremilk and hindmilk. Emptying the breasts thoroughly helps stimulate milk production and prevents issues like engorgement or blocked ducts.
● Neglecting Self-Care
Breastfeeding can be demanding, both physically and emotionally. Many mothers make the mistake of neglecting self-care while focusing entirely on their baby’s needs. Remember to take care by eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest. Practising self-care not only supports overall well-being but also contributes to successful breastfeeding.
● Lack of Support
Breastfeeding can sometimes be challenging, and having a support system in place is crucial. Seek help from experienced breastfeeding mothers, join support groups, or consult a lactation consultant for guidance and encouragement. Surround with individuals who understand and support the breastfeeding goals & can make a significant difference in one’s breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mother and the baby. Embracing mindfulness in breastfeeding can truly elevate the experience. By Seeking guidance and support when it is essential, and with patience and perseverance, one can overcome any challenges that arise along the way.
Shared by : Dr Shelly Singh Rosewalk Healthcare