Breastfeeding is a natural act that a mother does after bringing forth her young one alive. Breastfeeding is naturally easy because there are no different ways to do it. Breastfeeding is a one-way track, just put the baby close to the breast and let the baby suck, right? Breastfeeding may sound and seems easy that any mother can do, But unfortunately, that is all theory, it is not as easy as it looks because practically, the story is different. That is why I have brought to new mothers “Bad Breastfeeding Habits That Hurts Your Baby”.
If you are struggling with breastfeeding, it is important to know that it happens. If you are not breastfeeding properly, It does not mean that you should stop, or that something is wrong with you or your body system. It just means you need a little guidance, adjustment and practice. Every mother has “a mother’s intuition” which is great in some things. But when it comes to properly breastfeeding, intuition does not solve the issue.
If you have found out that your breastfeeding sessions are lacking a little lately, then you are not alone. The fact about breastfeeding is that lots of new mothers go through lots of ups and downs when breastfeeding their young ones.
At times, you find out that the infant cannot latch on the nipple properly, while in some cases the breastfeeding mother’s eating or positioning habit is faulty because it is not done properly. In some cases, the struggle is more on your baby’s side and in other factors, you as a breastfeeding mom have to make some adjustments.
If you find yourself involved in such bad habits,
Identifying or knowing where the problem originated from is the key to breaking your bad habits before they get even more solidified. This means that you have to carefully examine, in detail, what exactly you are doing in every feeding session. To help guide you, follow the steps in this article to correct your bad breastfeeding habit to have a healthier and happier breastfeeding session.
Sadly, there are lots of seemingly bad behaviours that are not so great for you or your little one. The good news is that by changing just one bad habit, can have a big impact on your breastfeeding success. Read on to find out those bad breastfeeding habits that hurt your baby which you do unconsciously.
Bad Breastfeeding Habits That Hurts Your Baby
1. Taking Too Much Alcohol:
When you involve yourself in taking hard drugs, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking, they are all bad and can pose a threat to both you and your baby. Taking hard drugs is a concern for many health and safety reasons. If you consume too much alcohol, your breast milk supply will take a hit, thereby harming your little baby in more ways than one.
Consuming excess alcohol can also reduce your breast milk supply. Always make sure that you express enough breast milk and keep it ready for anyone at home either a babysitter, friend or family member to feed the baby if you have plans to go out with your friends to have some fun.
2. Not Giving Your Baby Enough Time To Breastfeed:
A non profit organization La Leche League International, that promotes breastfeeding, from their research found out that the composition of your breast milk goes through changes even as you are breastfeeding your baby. When you start breastfeeding, your baby firstly starts sucking off skimmed milk, which is high in volume and satisfying. After breastfeeding for some time, then the breast releases whole milk which is high in both fat and calories for the baby to suck.
Your baby needs both skim and whole milk, which is formerly known as foremilk and hindmilk. To make sure your baby has both the foremilk and hindmilk, you need to give your baby enough time to suck and empty one breast before going to the other. Leigh Anne O’Connor, an international board certified lactation consultant, said that “limiting baby’s breastfeeding time can cause the baby to be underfed and also miss out on fatty hind milk”. Also, limiting breastfeeding time can reduce your breast milk supply. Making use of a breastfeeding stopwatch is a bad idea and if possible should be avoided.
3. Applying Too Much Pressure To Your Breasts:
Putting on tight clothes poses a problem to your breastmilk supply. If you want to breastfeed, avoid wearing tight clothes because your breast needs to be free. Another reason to avoid wearing tight clothes if you are a breastfeeding mother is that too much pressure applied to your breast in any way will make your milk ducts get clogged and even give rise to a problem called mastitis (an infection in your breast tissue that is very painful).
Also, make sure that you don’t sleep in a prone position or apply too much pressure with your fingers. Putting on tight clothes makes it difficult to bring out the breast for your baby to suck.
Read Also: 17 Healthy Food For Breastfeeding Mom
4. Putting Your Baby On A Strict Feeding Schedule:
Putting your baby on a feeding schedule that you have developed for your baby may seem good, but following it strictly is not good at all for your baby.Tori Sproat an author and international board certified lactation consultant with Tiny Tummy Lactation Services said in an interview that “following a strict breastfeeding schedule can negatively impact the breastfeeding relationship because you may be restricting the amount baby is getting (by watching the clock during feeds) or missing critical feeding cues (when you spread feeds out to every certain number of hours)”.
Working class mothers are mostly found in this category. It may be tempting to get your baby on a parent-led feeding schedule, especially if you are a working parent, but be very careful, cause following too strict of a schedule can really mess up things.
Parents are advised to see a doctor or a lactation consultant if they feel that their baby is not meeting his nutritional need, i.e. is malnourished. Also, try to feed from time to time
5. Not Making Eye Contact When Breastfeeding Due To Phone Distraction:
Breastfeeding is one of the ways for a mother and child to connect and form a deeper bond. Smartphones serve as adults’ pacifier to keep the mind busy. If you are always distracted by your smartphone during a breastfeeding session, then this is one bad habit that you should do away with because it can prevent you from creating or deepening the bond with your baby. Looking at your phone the whole time while breastfeeding, takes away eye contact from your baby.
Your child looks deep into your eyes during breastfeeding, and they also need you to look into their eyes for interaction when you are breastfeeding them, so make sure you do that. You do not have to completely put your phone away during breastfeeding, most especially if your little one is nodding off to sleep. Just be mindful of how much time you spend on it when breastfeeding.
6. Taking Herbs Without Consulting An Expert:
Most women, when they notice problem in their breast milk supply, they run online to search for herbs they can take. This is not a wise decision. Boosting your breast milk supply or production with the use of herbs without seeing your doctor or a lactation consultant first can harm you, your baby, or even your breast milk supply. Lots of herbs have side effects, and they can cross-react with other things you may be taking. Parents who suspect that they have a breastmilk supply problem should consult a lactation consultant first before they self-diagnose and spend thousands on supplements.
7. Feeling Ashamed Of Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding your child is one of the most beautiful and natural things to do as a mother. There is just no reason you should feel ashamed of breastfeeding your baby because there is this joy that comes with breastfeeding your little one. Feeling shame when breastfeeding is a hard habit to drop, but it is necessary for a good feeding session. You should do it whenever and wherever your child needs it, rather than focusing on what the society would think.
You can go ahead and wear a breastfeeding cover. Furthermore, you can breastfeed your baby in a shop if you find yourself outside your house like the market, church, occasion, etc, just make sure you feed your baby. Breastfeeding your little infant without shame will boost your confidence and make the feeding session a good one for both you and your baby.
8. Taking Excess Milk:
As a breastfeeding mother, taking too much milk will not only affect you, but your baby also. When you take too much milk in your tea, it makes your baby purge. It increases the number of times your baby stools. When taking your milk, take it with moderation.
Bad Breastfeeding habits that hurts your baby are common bad habits that are mostly found in first time moms. Eating unhealthy food, taking alcohol, smoking, putting pressure on the breast, taking hard drugs, taking unprescribed medication and so much more are some common bad habits that some breastfeeding mothers do. If you don’t have any of these habits, pat yourself on the back because it is a job well done. However, if you do these things, simply shunning them will make you even a better mom than you are already.