When new moms breastfeed their babies for the first time, they are nervous and clueless. It almost feels like a test for them. What if they could not make enough milk? What if they did not latch right? What if something went wrong? These thoughts are going on in the mind of a new mother or mom-to-be.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the child must be breastfed continuously for six months. After six months, the child must be introduced to complimentary food and breastfeeding for one year or two years.
There are so many myths about breastfeeding that it can be hard to know what is true and what isn’t and how to handle problems when they arise. This list has been put together to give new moms and those thinking about becoming one some solid information on everything related to breastfeeding. How does it work, and how much should you worry about your diet while pregnant or nursing your baby
1. Breastfeeding is Important for Both Mother and Child
There are several reasons why breastfeeding is important for both mother and child. Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby, providing the nutrients they need to develop properly.
In addition, it also helps protect against certain illnesses, such as asthma and allergies. All this makes you feel good about yourself because you’re doing something good for your child’s health.
According to the WHO, breastfeeding can lower the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer later in life. It is also good for the child because breastfed children are likely to be more intelligent and less likely to be overweight later in life. But unfortunately, 66% of children do not get proper breastfeeding as they should get due to many reasons.
2. Breastfeeding May Not Be Easy at First
Breastfeeding can be very stressful at first, even if you have been preparing for it since you got pregnant. Most women have no problems with breastfeeding at all, but some do. And those who experience problems find that the stress of not knowing what to do is far greater than any other stress they may have experienced.
If it sounds like what you are going through, take a deep breath and remember that many women are in the same boat as you.
But when does breastfeeding get easier? Breastfeeding is a learned skill, so it takes time to learn how to do it successfully. You may feel like you are struggling or doing something wrong, but don’t worry.
Usually, the first week of breastfeeding can be challenging, but it becomes easier after six weeks. By this time, the female body produces sufficient milk to satiate the baby, making it easier.
3. It Can Hurt Initially
One thing that every new mother should know about breastfeeding is that it can be painful. Painful, on the other hand, does not mean impossible. It is normal for breastfeeding to hurt initially and later also. This pain is a sign of success.
The pain can be due to several things, including but not limited to improper nipple shields, clogged ducts, yeast infection, engorgement, etc. Each type of pain requires its unique solution or medication. If one cannot find an appropriate solution after trying several times, then simply consult your healthcare provider.
When you realize the numerous benefits of breastfeeding, you will certainly forget the pain. According to National Institutes for Health, breastfeeding can increase the chances of survival of a child against SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is unexpected infant death under one year. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 month and one year.
4. You’re Always Learning About Breastfeeding
Your breastfeeding journey is a dynamic one that constantly changes, just as your baby’s growth does. You will start learning how to breastfeed your newborn in the hospital and then learn how to do it at home when you return home with your baby.
You will also have to learn how to breastfeed around other people and in public places.
You also need constant practice at night when they wake up once again from hunger pains because those initial months can be harsh on both parties.
5. What You Eat Matters
If you are eating out or away from home, check the menu first and order from there if possible. You should take care because some dishes may be too spicy for you or the baby’s immature digestive system. You must also follow the instructions below when it comes to your food.
- Avoid foods that are known to cause problems with breastfeeding.
- Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, such as spinach, beans, and lentils
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, so your baby gets plenty of breast milk.
6. Don’t Feel Guilty if Breastfeeding Isn’t Right for You
If you want to breastfeed, that is great. If you don’t, that is also great. You are a good mom, no matter what. Breastfeeding or not breastfeeding your child is an individual choice, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. You can stop breastfeeding if breastfeeding doesn’t feel right for you and your baby.
If it feels like too much work or too difficult, the best thing is to feed the baby formula instead of your breast milk.
In the beginning, you will probably have a lot of questions. It is normal and to be expected. Everybody is different, so what works for one person might not work for you. If you are frustrated or discouraged, reach out for help during your breastfeeding journey. Your support system can make all the difference in having success with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be very rewarding both emotionally and physically. However, it’s not always easy. Both mother and child go through changes while they learn how to breastfeed together, which can sometimes cause pain and difficulty. But if these challenges were easy or painless, everyone would happily nurse their children without any problems whatsoever.
The benefits far outweigh any negative experiences along the way through. For example, breastfed babies have lower chances of getting colds by age one than formula-fed babies and fewer allergies later in life due to their gut microbiota.