As natural as breastfeeding may feel, it’s not always easy. From finding a comfortable breastfeeding position to trying to make sure your little one is latching properly, there’s a lot that can go wrong when breastfeeding. Making mistakes in the early stages is normal, but addressing common breastfeeding mistakes can help you and your little one feel your best. Pumps for Mom breaks down seven common breastfeeding mistakes and how to avoid them.
1.Thinking pain is normal
Breastfeeding may not be comfortable all the time, but it should not be painful, especially as moms learn what works for them. Ongoing nipple pain or continual soreness due to breast engorgement or a poor latch may be a sign that something is going wrong during the breastfeeding process. For example, breast engorgement may indicate that you’re not feeding or pumping enough, while a poor latch may mean your baby isn’t getting all the breast milk they need. Talking with your doctor to address these possible causes of pain can help you breastfeed more comfortably and make sure your little one is getting all the breastfeeding benefits.
2. Feeding on a strict schedule
As a new mom, it can feel like nothing is in your control when your little one sleeps, eats, cries, and poops whenever they want to. So it’s understandable that new parents may want to introduce a feeding schedule to help establish a routine. However, a strict feeding schedule can cause its own set of problems. For the most part, newborns need to set the rules of feedings because their levels of hunger may be different throughout the day and change as they grow. For example, your little one will initiate cluster feedings when they are getting ready for a growth spurt to make sure you produce enough milk to help them grow. Following the feeding cues of your little one helps ensure your milk supply can meet the demand of your baby so they can meet growth and weight goals.
3. Questioning your instincts
Every new mom knows that there is no shortage of breastfeeding advice. However, while more information on the breastfeeding process can be beneficial, it may make moms question their breastfeeding instincts. As breastfeeding is a natural process, your instincts are probably right when it comes to breast milk supply, breastfeeding position, latch, and telling when your baby is full. However, constantly questioning if you are breastfeeding the “right” way and going against your instincts can often push you into making more breastfeeding mistakes. If your instincts are telling you your little one is full, he or she is probably full. If you feel like you are breastfeeding the best way for you and your baby, you’re probably right, even if a relative or neighbor is telling you something different. When in doubt, get in touch with your doctor or a lactation consultant, and remember to trust your instincts when wondering if something is going right or wrong with your little one.
4. Introducing formula to deal with low breast milk supply
It can be difficult to know if your breast milk supply is normal, and many moms worry they aren’t producing enough milk to keep their little one full. In reality, most moms have an adequate breast milk supply and create plenty of breast milk for their baby. Moms who are experiencing low supply can try some natural breast milk enhancers, also known as galactagogues. But if you’re concerned about supply and introduce formula too early, you can actually end up decreasing your breast milk supply. When in doubt, don’t introduce anything new when you’re breastfeeding, including formula, before talking with your doctor or a lactation consultant.
5. Skipping pumping sessions
We know how tiring a newborn can be, but consistently breast pumping either during breastfeeding sessions or on a regular schedule can do wonders for establishing a healthy breast milk supply. Especially if you are adjusting to time away from your little one, pumping when you would normally breastfeed is essential to producing enough breast milk to help your baby grow. Skipping pumping sessions can lead to engorgement, discomfort, and a reduced breast milk supply, so stick to your pumping schedule to feel your best and pump like a pro.
6. Ignoring your needs
Becoming a mom can be a magical thing, but you are still your own person, even as you care for your newborn day and night. It can be easy to lose track of the last time you’ve slept for more than a couple of hours at once or taken a shower. Although it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, taking a few moments to tend to your needs will improve your breastfeeding experience and make you a better mom in the long run. Additionally, breastfeeding moms must prioritize eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water so that the body has the fuel it needs to make the breast milk that helps babies grow. To take care of your little one, you have to find time to take care of yourself.
7. Allowing someone else to define breastfeeding success
As mom-shaming becomes an increasingly common occurrence online and in-person, Pumps for Mom is here to remind moms that the only person who can define success for you as a mom and for your little one is you. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding, many moms face criticism and advice coming from all directions. But the way your mom, cousin, sister, or neighbor breastfed their baby does not have to impact your own breastfeeding journey. You get to decide what successful breastfeeding looks like, whether it’s six months of exclusive breastfeeding then transitioning to formula, breastfeeding for two years straight, or exclusively using a breast pump for a year. You know what’s best for you, mama!
Pumps for Mom is passionate about making new and expectant moms’ lives easier by providing a simple process to get a breast pump through insurance. With a wide range of insurance breast pumps and maternity compression garments covered by insurance, Pumps for Mom helps moms get what they need without the stress. Our experts will walk you through every step of the process, from getting your breast pump prescription from your doctor to making sure your pump gets delivered safely to your door. Qualify for your breast pump through insurance with Pumps for Mom today!