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After having a baby, a lot of issues arise that you must tackle head-on. You want to have the right products and clothing to be sure that your baby is strong and healthy. However, one of the biggest concerns you’ll have as a first-time mom is producing enough breast milk to sustain your baby. Here is where some new moms make breastfeeding mistakes. To curb this, some mothers will try pumping and eating foods like barley and wheat to increase breast milk supply. Another effective way is checking bad habits and correcting mistakes. This is because you can have the right diet, but if you’re going about things the wrong way, it will not yield the desired results.
Below are 10 common breastfeeding mistakes that can ruin your milk supply.
1) Ignoring Pain
This is one of the breastfeeding mistakes that can affect how your baby latches on to the nipple and also suckling. Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to be painful; it should be effortless and should cause you no irritation, just like breathing or sweating. When you’re experiencing pain, the best thing to do is see your doctor; chances are it is caused by something mild that can be corrected quickly and easily so that your baby can go back to latching on properly.
2) Discomfort or wrong position
We sometimes gloss over the significance of a good position when breastfeeding, but it is very essential. As a human, we do not function properly in an awkward situation or when we are utterly uncomfortable. That’s what happens when you don’t get a suitable position when breastfeeding! Your baby isn’t comfortable and wouldn’t latch on properly, you aren’t comfortable and that creates stress which then hinders your milk production – see the pattern? If you can afford it, a good rocking chair is great for breastfeeding. Otherwise, you can find that position where you are most at ease with your baby in your arms.
3) Early Bottles and Pacifier
Yes, the pacifier is an invaluable item that helps in soothing your baby and acts as something to just concentrate on. However, you want to introduce it at the right time when the baby has already developed a good latch to your breast. This is because the pacifier and bottles are easier for the baby to latch on than the nipples. When babies notice that difference and realize they can suck out more from a bottle than the breast and that they do very little work on the bottle tip than on the breast, they develop a preference for the bottle and soon you won’t be able to breastfeed. So, pick your moment, don’t rush into it.
4) Wrong Diet
Now, just like the right food can help to increase milk supply, the wrong food can hinder it. Certain medications like antihistamines, birth control pills that contain estrogen, and some decongestants have been shown to decrease milk supply. Other food materials and consumables that also have this effect include smoking, drinking, oregano, sage, peppermint, jasmine, yarrow, parsley, and too much caffeine. Therefore, while breastfeeding, try to avoid as much of the above as possible.
Water makes up a large percentage of our body fluids, including our blood. It also makes up a large percentage of breast milk, which is why it contains all the nourishment the baby needs. Although we give little thought to stopping whatever we are doing for the purpose of getting a cup of water, you must try to cultivate the habit of drinking a significant amount of water daily.
6) Following a strict schedule
The mistake that some first-time mamma make is having a specific time for breastfeeding. This may seem well organized and thoughtful, but it doesn’t do you any favors. Having strict breastfeeding schedules almost serves to condition the body to only produce milk during that time. It may also lead to depriving the baby of the nourishment he requires during infancy. Yes, you should not breastfeed babies every time they cry; there are lots of reasons for a crying baby, and hunger is only one of them. Feed your baby when you have eliminated all other reasons for crankiness, don’t abide by a strict schedule.
7) Solid food
Sometimes in our bid to see our children growing up and joining in what we do, we forget that they’re just babies. Introducing solid food too early when your baby isn’t ready to do so could seriously affect how much milk you produce. This is because you still want to supplement the food with breast milk, which will no longer be adequately produced because of the solid food.
8) Short Feeding Sessions
Short feeding sessions and taking your baby off the breast just after he stops sucking isn’t good for him or you. It cuts the baby off and also stops you from producing as much breast milk as you can. What you should do is alternate between one breast to the other and allow your baby to find a position that better suit them.
9) Not Pumping Often enough
Not pumping or breastfeeding often enough can have adverse effects on how much milk you are ultimately able to produce. Pumping as often as you can and not just when your breast feels full helps you take advantage of that stimulus to improve production.
10) Becoming wound up
Raising a child from infancy is rewarding yet daunting. It is emotionally and physically draining, and without the right support, it is very easily messed up. So seek help if you must; it is very natural to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Don’t take it upon yourself to fix it all by yourself, take care of the baby by yourself. Take time to really rest and sleep, eat very healthy food, exercise daily to keep your spirits up and do not feel like a failure when you feel down.
Knowing these 10 common breastfeeding mistakes that can ruin your milk supply will help you navigate breastfeeding and keep your milk production to an optimal level.