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Three Pieces of Breastfeeding Advice to Ignore
“Don’t breastfeed your baby all the time or he will become too dependent. You have to wait and feed your baby every few hours.”
This is possibly the most damaging breastfeeding advice you will ever hear. Following this advice can not only lead to clogged milk ducts and breast infection, but it can also sabotage your entire breastfeeding relationship.
In short, don’t do it.
Do not bottle feed your baby. Scheduled feedings apply to formula-fed babies, not infants. Unlike formula, breast milk is digested quickly, and because babies have small stomachs, expect your little one to “feed” most of the day and night for the first few weeks. It’s normal for newborns to seem hungry every hour or so for part of the day.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns should be breastfed whenever they show signs of hunger — rooting, putting their hands in their mouths, mouthing, screaming, or crying — which is actually a late sign of hungry Listen to them.
Unlike formula, breast milk works according to the law of supply and demand. The more you nurse, the more milk you will make and vice versa. Schedule-fed babies may not have enough to build up an adequate milk supply.
And as for the line about babies becoming dependent? Babies are supposed to depend on you. After all, a baby can’t do much for itself. So throw those schedules in the diaper bag.
“Whatever you do, don’t let the baby sleep in your bed.”
While co-sleeping may not be the answer for every family, it can make nighttime breastfeeding (and sleep) less of an ordeal for parents and babies. Most families around the world sleep next to their babies. The United States is one of the few countries where this act is considered taboo. But why?
According to the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, babies and mothers who sleep together get more sleep than those who sleep separately.
But what about the long-term negative effects of co-sleeping? Research shows there isn’t. Although some parents seem to have an irrational fear of “excessive lying,” this is simply not a problem unless a parent is under the influence of mind-altering substances; in that case, they shouldn’t be taking care of a baby anyway.
In fact, co-sleeping babies often have one thing in common: they are thriving, both physically and mentally and intellectually. And they are nursing well. Co-sleeping babies tend to eat more at night, maintaining the mother’s milk supply and favoring the children’s natural space.
Co-sleeping makes night nursing much easier and safer, as long as you take some safety precautions and are a non-smoker. If the baby wakes during the night, all you have to do is roll onto your side and let the nursing begin. You can then continue to sleep while the baby goes back to sleep.
Ignore those people who say you can roll over your baby (highly unlikely if you’re sober) or that you’re being a sap. People talk like sleeping next to your baby is a slippery slope: do it once and you’ll never have a child-free bed until the teenage years roll around. But this is not necessarily true. As with everything, do what works for your family’s situation.
“Babies should not breastfeed any longer [six months, one year, etc]. Mothers who breastfeed their children do so more for themselves than for their babies.”
There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that there is no evidence of psychological or developmental harm in infants who are breastfed beyond one year.
Plus, extended nursing has many benefits. Research shows that babies over one year old still receive substantial amounts of nutrients from breast milk. Although babies need nutrition from solid foods, breast milk is still a valuable part of their diet, providing large amounts of vitamin B12, vitamin A, folate, vitamin C and protein. The composition of the milk even changes to suit the growing needs of the baby.
Although the view of breastfeeding children is not at the forefront of society, prolonged breastfeeding is not extreme. The AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least one year and more, as desired by the mother and child, and the World Health Organization urges mothers to breastfeed for at least two years.
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