Friday, August 10, 2007

Breast-Feeding Challenges

I received an article from a friend entitled 'Five breast-feeding mistakes new moms make, and how to fix them', needless to say I was very interested to see what these mistakes were and what solutions they proposed. The article is from CNN and you can view it here.

Here are the five mistakes:

1. Moms go at it alone

The article suggests that new mothers should seek out support groups where they can get advice on technique and emotional support. I have to say that I agree with what they suggest, I know from experience that breast-feeding does not come 'naturally' no matter how much people may tell you. I went to the classes and read the books and got the manuals but until I had someone (my doula) actually put my breast into the baby's mouth and show me how to do it I was completely lost. There is no doubt that we can always use more support as new mothers and you never know what great tip someone will give you.

2. Moms forget about their successful breast-feeding friends

In other words they suggest that you invite a friend who was successful in breast-feeding and have them help you out. I say why not, it will certainly NOT hurt and you will get a great deal of insider information.

3. Moms assume that they don't have enough milk

The article proposes that you rethink your baby's nursing behaviour. I think that as a new mom you never really realize that a baby will eat pretty much every two hours for the first few months. And that depending on how fast they eat it can feel like you are feeding every hour. I really think that you should not be focusing on ounces at the beginning. You really must take your cues from the weight the baby is putting on. The important thing is to speak with your health care provider and explain the baby's feeding habits and get their input. And believe me, there will be days every once in a while when you will feel like the only thing you did that day was breast-feed. These are the wonderful growth spurts.

4. Moms get intimidated breast-feeding in public

The article recommends that you have a snappy comment or reply for anyone who should actually say something to you. I have to admit that it took me a couple of months to feel comfortable breast-feeding in pubic. I was not uncomfortable about the idea of it, I just felt very clumsy doing it. It took me a while to really get the positioning right for breast-feeding, but once I did, I could feed anywhere. And by that time, I could not care what people thought, said or felt about the it. I was always respectful of where I breast-fed and was certainly not in anyone's face.

One thing to note is that breast-feeding in public is not for everyone, but it should not deter you from going out with your baby in the early days. It is always good to know the places that offer a private place where you can breast-feed. For instance I knew what stores in the mall had big stalls where I could go into and take 10 minutes to feed. No one will say anything and if they do, ignore them.

5. Moms panic when milk doesn't gush out

I don't really understand why this is a 'mistake' mostly because I knew after reading the books and going to my pre-natal classes that you did not get your milk right away. For this reason I was not exactly worried, I also did not try to measure my milk output. In many ways you don't want your milk to gush out as it will be very annoying. Certainly the baby does not like since it throws them off and they can choke on too much milk all at once. All I can say is don't worry, your milk will come in two to four days after birth and when it does you will know it. Also you don't really want it to gush out ever because when it does it will be when you are in public wearing a nice shirt.

Those are the top 5 mistakes new moms make about breast-feeding. I really would not call any of them mistakes, because for something to be a mistake you have to already know what is the right thing to do and for many new mothers this is certainly not always the case.

If you would like to share your breast-feeding tips, please leave a comment. There is no doubt that new mothers would really appreciate it.

1 comment:

Colleen (My Baby and More) said...

All in all it wasn't a bad article. There have been worse! Have you heard about the Parents article yet? Thanks for your thoughts!