Breastfeeding & What to Avoid
Breastfeeding is a goal that many people share. One Google search will yield tons of different advice on things to avoid when you’re nursing your baby including alcohol, dairy, and eggs. We’re here to give you the real deal on what you should be avoiding (in real life).
While breastfeeding is natural, it certainly can be a challenge. It’s not something that comes easily to many people and a layer of judgment is an unnecessary addition! If someone in your life is vocal and disapproving of your breastfeeding journey, it may be time to set up boundaries with the person. Your nursing relationship with your baby needs support!
Extreme Diet Changes
Unless medically necessary, typically radical diet changes aren’t necessary when breastfeeding. Your body processes all food you take in before pulling the nutrients and creating milk for your baby so in all likelihood, it isn’t dairy that is making your baby gassy. Old wisdom would tell mothers to cut out dairy, eggs, soy, and even broccoli to help their babies’ tummies but, in reality, it’s more likely air from a shallow or incorrect latch. Don’t go cutting things out until you have a recommendation from your doctor!
Lengthy Articles with Scary Anecdotes
There are articles floating around that paint breastfeeding as scary and painful. While it can be, it doesn’t have to be and these articles will do nothing but feed into your anxiety surrounding nourishing your baby. Hold fast to the suggestion above about unsupportive people and keep these less-than-helpful articles away from your mommy eyes.
When it comes to breastfeeding there are a few guidelines that are important to observe. Things like watching baby’s wet and dirty diapers to ensure they’re eating well, paying attention to weight gain, and making sure to visit a doctor if you notice anything concerning within yourself or your baby. Otherwise? There are really no hard-and-fast rules for breastfeeding. Remove the “baby must eat X ounces at Y” and pay closer attention to how your body feels and how your baby responds to get an accurate read on how your nursing is going. Each breastfeeding experience is different and requires different, flexible guidelines.
Obsessing Over Numbers
While it is important to weigh baby and make sure they’re gaining weight well, it’s less important to obsess over each and every half ounce. In healthy newborns, it’s more important to follow baby’s cues and feed on demand. Some babies drain the breast in 8 minutes flat, others take 30+. The minutes baby is eating don’t necessarily indicate an issue, nor does how long baby sleeps in between feeds or if they happen to take half an ounce less at one feed. The numbers you should pay attention to? Get a general feel for how many wet and dirty diapers baby has each day and you’ll start to notice when they have exceptionally more or less. These are great indicators of health. As long as baby is growing and thriving, there’s no need to stress out over numbers.
It’s super important to maintain and protect your mental state when you’re breastfeeding! Help guard your mind by reading, thinking, and surrounding yourself with positive support. That way if you do stumble upon a bump in the road (and you very well may), you’ll be in the right mindset to find a solution.