Breastfeeding for the first time is an adventure! On the one hand, new moms hear that breastfeeding is “the most natural thing in the world” and that it’s the best way to give their child the nutrition it needs to thrive. On the other hand, for first-time mothers, breastfeeding can feel more like a skill than an instinct. They may even worry about whether they are “doing it right” or whether their experience is “normal.” So, with so many opinions out there, where should new mothers turn for help?
Colic is one of the great mysteries of a baby’s life. No one knows for sure what causes “uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby,” or why it tends to happen in the late afternoon or evening. If your baby cries for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week or more, for longer than 3 weeks, you can say that you have a “colicky” baby. But, what causes colic? More importantly, is there anything that new mothers can do about it?
Many new moms struggle with balancing the needs of their careers and their children. They want to return to school or work, but, they also want to give their kids the immunological, nutritional and emotional benefits that breastfeeding can offer. This is not always an easy balancing act. But, the good news is that, with planning and determination, it can be done!
Many women come home from the hospital wanting to exclusively breastfeed and do what is best for their baby. They eagerly start breastfeeding and getting used to the routine. Many breastfeeding moms have been looking forward to this experience and want to continue breastfeeding exclusively as long as possible, and may not have even bought a breastpump because they were not planning to use it.
Traditionally, breastfeeding has been viewed as “women’s business.” Women learned the basics from their own mothers, or spoke with other moms, older sisters or lactation consultants. In the old days, breastfeeding education was the responsibility of wet nurses. Fathers were left out of the breastfeeding discussion, and most dads were happy to keep it that way.
The breastfeeding journey is different for every mother. Most moms love the physical and emotional experience of breastfeeding with all their heart and treasure the connection that it gives them to their baby. They want the best for their baby and are happy to do whatever they can to deliver those health benefits for as long as possible. Even if at the beginning, that means 12 feeds a day and endless sleepless nights!
Babies are born ready to breastfeed and according to the laws of nature, instinctively know exactly what to do. Latching onto its mother’s breast should be the most natural thing in the world for a newborn, but that is often not the case. Only when a baby has established a strong and accurate latch, is breastfeeding a totally comfortable and productive experience for both mother and baby.
New moms often hear a lot of unsolicited advice about breastfeeding – and unfortunately, some of that well-intentioned breastfeeding advice is totally wrong! You might be hearing a lot of misinformation or confused ideas about breastfeeding. We’ve written before about breastfeeding myths, but here are a few more that may surprise you.
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world for a woman to do. In theory that is true. In practice however, it can be a different situation. A new mom can read all the best books in the world, talk to a lactation consultant or their medical practitioner and watch the entire ‘how to’ series of breastfeeding videos on YouTube. In her mind, she may feel confident and ready to jump right into her new maternal role.
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts in the world, but it still takes some practice and getting used to. One of the learning experiences for moms and babies is discovering the best breastfeeding positions that work for them both.