Being a mother, worrying about every little detail becomes an inescapable hobby. Despite doing everything and giving it your all. Before we start, I’d ask you to stop for a minute, appreciate your efforts and let go of the worries. We can sort out the breastfeeding mistakes later, first let’s sort your worries!
The most asked and worrying question of this whole breastfeeding journey is — If my baby is getting enough food? Am I producing enough milk?
Studies show despite all the worries and questions regarding breastfeeding, a mother produces 3 times the milk their baby need. It’s innate and very natural (exceptions do occur, low milk supply sometimes is a condition). We might be new to motherhood or breastfeeding but even without no study at all, we have got this!
Getting to the point, sometimes, unintentionally we make mistakes that might affect our breast milk supply. Today, we are going to talk about these breastfeeding mistakes that can affect our milk supply and how to sort/avoid them out. Let’s get to know a little more about your breasts and milk supply issues, shall we?
1. Irregular Breastfeeding Schedule– Big Breastfeeding Mistake
Babies themselves are the key factor in inducing milk supply. The more they latch, the more milk supply it is. Breastfeeding is as natural as it gets, proper health and a good latch must do it and hence we must make sure both our breasts are actively feeding the baby.
Irregular breastfeeding is unintentional yet can do bad to your milk supply. It’s the baby that triggers milk supply and without feeding enough or skipping breastfeed can lead to less milk supply.
Studies say, starting breastfeeding as soon as possible has favorable results. Once you start to breastfeed, your body would know that the baby has begun to feed and it will start making as much milk as possible.
Keep Both The Breasts Active:
Second, try to make good use of both the breasts, switch your baby to sides once in a while. If the baby doesn’t want to switch breasts, you can feed on one to the baby and you can pump the other breast and save some extra milk. Try to breastfeed as often as you can. If not breastfeed then pump often!
Pumping can come very handy. Your baby would sleep bigger naps after feeding and in between, you can just pump your breasts and keep them active to avoid blockage.
Women who pump often have a better flow at maintaining breast milk supply since their body doesn’t lack the stimulation even when the baby is unavailable or not feeding.
NOTE: Do not overdo Pumping! Keep everything balanced.
Massaging & Heat Compression:
Hand massage can open up closed ducts and stimulate milk production. You can opt for manual pumping, it initiates a hand rub, that can warm up your breasts and the flow.
Heat compression does the same thing to breasts. It warms up the internals for an easy letdown. You can take hot showers to heat up your body and can use heat pad massages.
2. Second Breastfeeding mistakes –Latching
Latching is baby’s hold on the breasts to suckle the milk out. A proper latch allows the baby to squeeze the milk out through the milk ducts with the help of his mouth and tongue movements.
Studies say a good latch provides higher breast milk supply. A bad one can lead to lower milk supply, breast pain and issues, and a hungry baby!
Most often, when you think the baby isn’t getting enough milk, it is not the low milk supply that’s the problem but an improper latch. If not given the proper latch, babies won’t be able to suckle the milk out and as a result, your body would lack the stimulation to make more milk.
How to get a good latch? For a better latch, provide your baby with a position that’s most convenient for the baby and yourself, try changing position until you find the right one.
Breastfeeding Positions play a great role when it comes to a good latch. Look for the position that holds a better let down and is not blocking ducts.
Other than positioning, Nipple shields help a mother in more than ways that we can think of. It helps the baby to latch properly when the baby fails to do so. With that said, the Nipple shield also helps mothers with flat nipples. Flat nipples can make latching difficult, henceforth, make sure you are stocked up with nipple shield!
3. Next Breastfeeding mistake–Introducing Bottle & Pacifier.
As a mother, I understand why a mother would want to introduce a Pacifier or a bottle to the baby. Let’s get real, we get tired and we need to rest AND it’s damn important.
But giving a Pacifier too early might affect your breast milk supply and is big breastfeeding mistake. Why? Breasts need the baby to suckle in order to create stimulation which further would initiate milk production. When failed, the body might struggle in producing milk.
If you do wish to introduce a bottle to your baby wait for at least a month or 2 at most, the starting months are very crucial in order to stabilize your milk supply. Take it very slowly, don’t completely go off breastfeeding. Pump and breastfeed as often as you can and take it down gradually.
Kill These Breastfeeding mistakes & Establish Your Milk Supply.
1. Quit The Fear.
I believe most of the time, it’s the stress and fear of not making enough milk that closes our milk ducts and production than any other problem.
Positive vibes change and relax your body which as a result yields better milk production. So, first off, leave the fear, everything in pregnancy is natural and it won’t bring any harm to you and your baby.
2. Self Care
I believe I mentioned how my milk supply was content and enough. It’s very true, though I didn’t take any extra/changed diet in order to increase my breast milk as is always told.
It is necessary to understand we are growing a body inside of us and later will have to feed it, so self-care is very important.
Many times, we forget ourselves in the need to provide our baby with everything but what we do not realize is that the baby needs us the most, so our good health matters a lot.
Your body needs the nutrients, the rest, the fun in order to stay fit and produce fit milk. Quit worrying, quit strangling yourself, quit not eating. Just dig in lady… eat and eat, laugh and laugh and all would be good. Do not let these breastfeeding mistakes to happen, self-care is everything and I can’t emphasize it enough!
3. Healthy Diet
In order to perform well, the body has its requirements. I ate and ate and that’s why my milk supply was as healthy as a big lioness. So, before you start worrying, start to dig into your plate, kitchen, grocery. Some A-list milk yielding grocery to add up.
•Water–A lot of it. Since milk is made 87% of water, you got to drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated.
•Oatmeal–Oatmeal is a great source for iron as you must have heard of. It promotes lactation and body health in totality.
•Barley–Barley is called the Milk Bomb.
•Others–Papaya, Garlic, FlaxSeed, brewer’s yeast, sesame seeds, etc, etc.
Though, I believe one should take all the vegetables, fruits, healthy dairy, meat in order to stay fit. Not the ones you are allergic to. All these have some or other nutrients that help your body to stay healthy.
I mean, c’mon it is not just the breast and breast milk that needs our attention but the complete body… so eat everything but eat healthily.
I don’t hold a strong opinion for supplements since I have never used them. Also, herbal or not, supplements are not mostly recommended(the way I have read it). So, if you are thinking of using it, make sure you consult your gynecologist regarding so.
Despite not using it, I have heard many of the mothers suggesting these supplements or praising them and how magically they have worked for them. Some of the popular supplements are Fenugreek, Shatavari, mother milk tea, etc.
We have tried to enlist all the experience, not driven from one but many mother’s experiences including that of mine. I try to exclude myths that go around spreading the false cure.
If you have more suggestions or advice or experiences with the supplements which I lack on the wholesome level. Do let us know in the comments section down below. Help out other moms like you is the motto! Avoid these breastfeeding mistakes and love more.Until then,