For a bunch of years, formula was the preferred feeding option in this country. Fortunately, that's starting to change back to breastfeeding. However, we're left in an odd situation. You see, new mothers typically turn to their moms and women of their family with breastfeeding questions, but since many of those women fed with formula, they can't provide new moms with the answers they need. Breastfeeding moms are often discouraged and turn to formula because they think they "can't" breastfeed.
Here are the obstacles new moms often face and how to defeat them.
1. Failing to seek support when they need help.
For various reasons, breastfeeding has been devalued in this country. That means that for some women, there isn’t anyone to turn to for help and support. Find a Lactation Consultant near you or your local La Leche League group. If things aren’t working out, go to them for help.
2. Letting their baby latch incorrectly.
A proper latch occurs when your baby opens his mouth wide so he can take in your nipple and much of your areola. If he doesn’t latch properly, he won’t get all the milk he needs, you could end up with sore nipples, and your breast won’t supply as much because you aren’t expressing enough. Tickle your baby between his nose and lips so his mouth opens wide and put him on your breast quickly. Use your thumb and forefinger to tug on baby’s chin to assist with a wide latch.
3. Being scared about nursing in public.
It’s a sad fact that some people prefer you hide yourself when it’s time to feed your child. I say don’t worry about those people. Don’t coop yourself up in your home for a year because of what other people think. Use a nursing cover or a pillow with a privacy screen if it makes you comfortable, but don’t let other people’s opinions make you unconfident.
4. Stopping because of work.
Many breastfeeding moms continue to offer breast milk while working full-time jobs. The time and effort of pumping is worth it for your baby’s health and future. You’ll need to work something out with your employer, but most are accommodating (and legally need to be).
5. Believing they can’t product enough milk.
Many women become discouraged after a short time breastfeeding, believing that they can’t create enough milk for their child. This is a very rare occurrence. Most women produce plenty, but they need to keep at it to increase their supply. Once you learn HOW your breasts produce milk and understand how important supply-and-demand works towards your milk production, it will be easier to produce all the milk your baby will ever need.
6. Failing to take part in a breastfeeding class before giving birth.
Breastfeeding is natural, but a little information can’t hurt. A breastfeeding class won’t only teach you how, but they’ll teach you how to teach your family to provide support. The class will also go over the common nursing problems so you can be ready ahead of time.
7. Trying to feed on a schedule.
Newborns have needs that don’t care about our schedules. They want to eat when they’re hungry and fall asleep on their own time. Trying to force food into your infant is pointless; withholding food because it’s “not the right time” is cruel.
8. Introducing a bottle or pacifier too soon.
You can cause confusion if you introduce a foreign substance into your baby’s mouth too early. Devote at least the first month to exclusive breastfeeding so you and your baby both learn. Afterwards, your baby can feed from a bottle while you’re at work or just to save your nipples.
9. Letting themselves become stressed.
You and your baby need to learn how to breastfeed. It’s a natural experience, but it still takes some practice. Not everything will go as planned and you’ll have some questions. Don’t fear that you’re a bad mother because you don’t fall into rhythm right away.
Guest Blog by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow
San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder for privacy while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of discretion while nursing in public. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.
After Clark read a recent Duke University study on toxic chemicals in baby products, she sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed. Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, the nation's leading fire-retardant research specialist, and a new mother herself, said, “It's wonderful to find a nursing pillow on the market that is not treated with chemical flame-retardant additives in the filling material. San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud this manufacturer for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”
San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin Eco*Loft™ fiber, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.
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