With breastfeeding not being nearly as popular as it was in past years, although making a comeback with all the great information reaching mothers today… there are still a lot of booby traps out there that mothers innocently fall for thinking these simple things won’t impact their breastfeeding relationship.
I was never really familiar with the term booby trap until I was pregnant with my second son. I had not seen it on any of the internet communities I was in because I never really needed any help breastfeeding. When I had an issue, I went to a local lactation consultant, and already did a fair share of reading about the subject.
Since then, especially after having one child that needed to be formula fed, I have done a lot of research to help be successful this time around breastfeeding. Granted, with my youngest son I had no choice, it was give him formula or let him starve… but I know how rare this really is. And I am ready to nurse again!
1. Freebies – Skip the freebies if you really want to breastfeed. Those free “breastfeeding kits” often have little information on breastfeeding, and a ton of formula samples and coupons for that midnight mom having a breakdown because there is something wrong, or may be having a latch problem, or just a cranky baby. Heck with my oldest son the hospital sent me home with a breastfeeding bag sponsored by Similac with nothing that would help me breastfeed at all. Nor was I about to walk around town with a diaper bag with Similac stamped across the side… no matter how nice the bag was!
2. Bad Information is Everywhere! – Even in the most unlikely places, including your pediatricians office! Unfortunately for most mothers, Pediatricians have little knowledge on breastfeeding, which is unfortunate. I totally feel they should have training on the topic. Many are over concerned about weight issues based off of growth charts of formula fed babies, who typically weigh more. Also, they typically stick with the “15 minutes on each side” rule instead of nursing on demand, which most moms should do in the first weeks/months. If you have concerns about breastfeeding, see an IBCLC, or Certified Lactation consultant. You wouldn’t bring your BMW to a certified Dodge repair shop right?
3. Hospital Staff Misinformation - The last thing new mothers want to do is starve their baby while they are in the hospital, and many new breastfeeding mothers are made to feel this way by hospital staff members who are only taught policy, or protocol instead of how breastfeeding works in the first few days of life. Contrary to popular belief, babies do not need to start life eating 2 ounces every two to three hours from birth on. Colostrum is designed to keep your baby fed, and hydrated in the first couple days of life. As long as you are getting an acceptable number of wet and dirty diapers, there is no need to supplement, or give the baby sugar water, or bottles.
4. Family & Friends - Every time a new mother has a struggle or rough day, instead of lending support and breastfeeding help, it seems like the first answer is bottles and formula in most social circles. Instead of this Moms should be seeking support from those who may have breastfed exclusively for a lengthy period of time, or those family members who have experience nursing… not the ones who skipped it because it was weird or because breasts are for husbands not babies!
5. Breastfeeding is Easy Myth – No matter how many times someone looks at you and says breastfeeding is easy… in the first weeks and month, that is not always the case. For many women it is difficult and takes true dedication, and education to be successful. Read books, go to support groups (even before your baby is born!) and take time to become educated about breastfeeding. Rome wasn’t built in a day!