Breastfeeding your newborn can be very rewarding, but also a very challenging task. For some women, it comes naturally while for other women who chose to breastfeed, they have many hurdles to overcome in the first few months. The constant nursing, latch issues, pressure from health professionals and family... All of these create an environment of stress, which just adds another issue, low supply. First time mothers often have a rough start to breastfeeding and endure many, if not all of these issues.
As a newborn, many babies just inherently know how to latch and there are some who can figure it out fairly quickly. For moms, it's usually a different story. Some have to acquire guidance whether it be professional or advise from a friend, and still sometimes it just doesn't quite work the way it should. This can result in painful nursing sessions for the mother and a very hungry baby. Many hospitals offer lactation nurses to help with latch issues, but some also push formula even in the first hours of breastfeeding. If you are set on breastfeeding your newborn, make sure you advocate for yourself and your baby and insist on nursing without supplementing. Many doctors will also suggest supplementing if your newborn is having weight gain issues. Sometimes this is necessary, but again, advocate for yourself and your baby. Most breastfeeding resources repeat one thing over and over, nurse, nurse, nurse! Any time you supplement you take away from your own supply, making it more difficult every time to keep up with your newborn. The constant nursing can put a strain on a new mother, but there is no better way to build your supply. Pressure from family can be worse than pressure from health professionals. For those family members that have never nursed a newborn, they likely can't comprehend how physically and emotionally draining it can be. Family members may also pressure a new mother into not breastfeeding so the baby can be handled more by others, or giving the baby a bottle so other family members can "bond" with the newborn. All these issues that arise coupled with the pressures from peers can cause undue stress on a new mother, which can debilitate her supply. The cure? Relax, and nurse!
With all that can hinder breastfeeding a newborn, once a supply is established and mom and baby are in a routine (or as much of a routine you can get out of a newborn), a wonderful relationship can develop. There may still be bumps in the road from weight issues, milestones, growth spurts, and public scrutiny of breastfeeding, but the benefits are undeniable. You are able to deliver the perfect amount of milk with the perfect amount of nutrition at the perfect temperature at all times, and you have a wonderful way to bond as well as a quick cure for an unhappy baby. Breastfeeding a newborn is emotionally and physically exhausting, and there may never be such a thing as smooth sailing. Take pride in your decision, and nurse, nurse, nurse!
Author: Anita Williams BabyDiapersOnline.com Blog