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Breastfeeding Booby traps…before your baby is born


Booby Trap #1 : Having Unreasonable Expectations About the Beginning

excerpted from Best for Babes


The first Booby Trap™ to avoid is believing that instinct alone will buy you automatic success.  The truth is that breastfeeding is instinctive – babies born after an unmedicated birth can actually crawl to the breast by themselves and self-attach! (Lennart Righard and M. Alade, “Effect of Delivery Room Routines on Success of First Breast-feed,” The Lancet 336, no. 8723 (3 November 1990): 1105-1107.)

But nursing is also a learned behavior and a skill that both you and your baby have to master over a period of time.  You have to learn how to read your baby’s hunger and satiation cues and your baby needs to learn how to milk your breasts efficiently.  This is what we call the learning curve of breastfeeding and generally lasts 4-6 weeks. and it’s why experts recommend that you commit to breastfeed to at least that point.

If that seems like too long, know that some women need to break it down even further to get past the first few days! 

Our game plan suggestion is to set small, attainable goals-commit to the first few days, then a week, then another week . . before you know it you’ll be at a month or 2 months.   Acknowledge and reward yourself at each juncture (or better yet have your partner do that!).  By the time you break the six week mark, you’ll start to have the hang of it and be glad you stuck it out. 

To use a great analogy: Breastfeeding is a lot like learning to ride a bicycle. bike Before you ever rode one, you probably were intimidated because you had never done it before.  You didn’t know how to balance yourself, or what that felt like, and you probably were frightened because you saw or heard of all the falls and skinned knees. 

Did that stop you?  No! 

You knew there was a light at the end of tunnel, and you could imagine yourself flying down the street on your new banana seat bicycle with the glitter on the handles!  So you mustered up your courage and a commitment to succeed.  Whoever was helping you didn’t let you quit, either.  Now, for almost everyone, that bike wobbled, tilted and knocked you down a few times.  What was the adage almost everyone heard?  “If you fall, get right back on and try again!”  You didn’t quit!  You brushed yourself off and mounted up again and again until you were sailing along effortlessly with the wind blowing through your hair! What’s more, whoever was helping you learn to ride a bike encouraged you, wouldn’t let you quit, and told you that you can do it. 

Sadly, too many well-meaning friends, family members and professionals tell expecting moms to “just try” without making sure they have the proper support.  

Before you have your baby…make sure you have the support you need. Check our Local Resources tab to find local support for breastfeeding mom’s in Indian River County!


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