Deciding to nurse one’s baby is often one of the best decisions a woman will ever make. Not only is breast milk a great source of nourishment, but breastfeeding helps to develop a bond between a mother and her baby like no other. However, it is important to note that breastfeeding doesn’t come without its challenges. Though breastfeeding is one of the best things a mom can do for her baby, it can also be one of the most challenging.
The Truth About Nursing
A baby that is breast fed will get hungry sooner than a bottle fed baby will. As a result moms who breastfeed, will have to feed their babies more often than moms who feed their baby’s formula. This might not be so bad during the day but it can be difficult at night. Before a baby begins sleeping through the night, he or she may get up every 11/2 to 2 hours to eat. This can be tough on a mother, because she won’t be getting an adequate amount of rest, at least not for a while.
Nursing mothers may also find themselves restricted and homebound if they have to nurse every two hours. This is because there isn’t enough time in between feedings to manufacture enough milk to pump. This isn’t as much of a problem for moms who are away for longer stretches of time or who work. Their breasts have enough time to fill up and an adequate amount of milk is manufactured for pumping. This milk can then be fed to the baby when the mother is away.
Moms who feed every two hours would need to skip a few feedings and supplement their breast feeding with formula feedings so that their body has enough time to make enough milk to pump. This, however, can be difficult because many times, babies who have been breast fed continuously and for awhile, may not accept formula.
Engorged breasts, leaks and learning to handle public feedings are additional worries associated with breast feeding. Life as a nursing mother can be wonderful. It can also be challenging. Honestly, it won’t be the right fit for every woman and that’s perfectly fine. However, for those that it is, it can be a very rewarding and rich experience. Learning as much as one can about breastfeeding can be helpful. It can help a women avoid going into it blindly. Working with a lactation consultant can be helpful as well.