7 Mistakes New Breastfeeding Parents Make

Here are 7 mistakes we see new breastfeeding parents make…. Can you think of any others? 

❌ Expecting your pediatrician to be trained to help with breastfeeding

Pediatricians are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING and have a great breadth of knowledge. Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not an area where MOST pediatricians have extensive training. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Pediatricians with privileges in newborn care must complete a minimum of 3 hours of education on breastfeeding management. Residency training in breastfeeding is not universal.” (from the article: “Pediatrician Competency in Breastfeeding Support Has Room for Improvement“)

❌ Not asking for help with feeding problems from the breastfeeding experts

Learning to breastfeed is kind of like learning to ride a bike. You can read about it, watch videos about it, but until you get your butt up on the seat, it is REALLY hard to learn how to do it. New breastfeeding parents often struggle with positioning the baby, achieving a comfortable latch, and assessing feeding success.

This is what your local IBCLC is for! An IBCLC has EXTENSIVE training in breastfeeding support and management, and many even do virtual/remote consultations through video conferencing apps.

❌ Thinking there is only one way to breastfeed

In an ideal world, every breastfeeding parent would exclusively breastfeed their baby directly from the breast. I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in that utopia! We work with families all the time to come up with strategies to make breastfeeding work for them. You can choose to feed the baby directly from the breast, to pump and offer bottles, to offer a mix of breastmilk and formula, to co-nurse with your partner, and to breastfeed or provide breastmilk for as long or as short as you want to. We believe that ANY BREASTFEEDING is better than NO BREASTFEEDING.

❌ Expecting breastfeeding to be painful

While many new breastfeeding parents experience some “transitory” pain in the early days of breastfeeding, this pain should not be severe (if it is “curl your toes” 👣 pain – it is severe!) When the latch is good, the mild transitory pain should resolve within a few days to a week and should NEVER last longer. If your baby is more than a week old and you are STILL having pain, or if the latch pain “takes your breath away,” that would not be a “good latch,” and while it is COMMON it is NOT NORMAL.

❌Thinking they are not making enough milk

We get it! Breasts don’t come with convenient ounce markers showing you how much milk your baby is getting. But the great news is that they don’t need to. Your baby will get very good at communicating when he/she is hungry and when he/she is satisfied. In the early days, your baby should wake to feed A LOT – at least 8 -12 times in a ⏰ 24-hour period. And you can also look at diaper output and weight as good measures to tell if baby is getting enough. While newborns lose weight for the first few days, they should be back to their original birthweight by day 10-14. Once the early days of breastfeeding are past, weight gain is the best 📏 way to measure if your baby is getting enough. But generally, a baby who has been gaining well that suddenly is NOT getting enough milk is going to be a VERY CRANKY baby 😭.

❌ “Topping off” with formula 🍼 after feeding at the breast 🤱

If your baby’s weight gain is normal, topping off with a bottle of formula after the baby has fed at the breast will cause your milk supply to decrease. Because the baby is getting more food, they will not want to feed as frequently, and frequent milk removal is the 🗝️ key to establishing and maintaining a good supply

❌ Expecting your baby to sleep 💤 through the night too soon

First off, based on our evolution as hunter/gatherers, our ancestor’s babies probably fed at the breast throughout the night. This then allowed breastfeeding parents to spend time during the day gathering and hunting food. This is also why most breastfeeding parents find that they make the MOST milk sometime between 2AM and 3AM 🥱. And of course, baby will be very likely to want to feed when you make the most milk. Some breastfeeding parents even find that if their baby is sleeping through the night, that they are stuck getting up and pumping between 2-3 AM to maintain their milk supply. We expect babies to wake at night to feed, and this often lasts well into the second 6 months of life.

Bayou City Breastfeeding

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