What NOT to say to a breastfeeding Mom
When I became a Mother I made the (now looking back-crazy) decision to breastfeed my baby. I actually thought it was whip it out and feed, but boy was I wrong!
Between ounces, latches, and positions it was so much to learn. The thing you think would come so naturally doesn’t.
1. Are you sure he/ she is getting enough?
Chances are Mom is already wondering this too, your question reinforces our worry. We have no idea how much our babes are getting and rely on wet diaper counts and weight gain. If we have the time and/or energy to pump our milk, that doesn’t tell us either. Baby is always more efficent than a pump.
2. You have to nurse again?!/ they just ate!/ how long will that take?
Yes, I have to nurse again, I know she just ate but we can listen to her cry, or we she can eat. Maybe she was too distracted to finish before, maybe he has a lip/tounge tie, who knows. But a baby that wants to eat needs to eat. In the early days babies will nurse for long periods to help mom produce more milk. Breastmilk is all about supply and demand so the more demand, the more mom will produce. Bottom line, if supplementation is needed the babies pediatrician will let the family know.
I never breastfed and my kids turned out just fine
That’s great! How you choose to feed your baby is your own choice, however a mom that chooses to breastfeed should be supported in her decision and not swayed a different way.
You should get him/her to take a bottle
Introducing a bottle to breastfed baby is no easy feat! experts recommend waiting about 4-6 weeks when a good nursing relationship is established a bottle can be introduced. Some babies take right to the bottle and enjoy not having to work as hard, but others put up a fuss and mom gives in and nurses because one can only listen to a baby scream in hunger for so long. You don’t know what bottles mom has/hasn’t tried and some exclusive breastfeeding mother’s choose not to introduce bottles at all. Bottom line, the choice is theirs, respect it.
You need a break
I don’t need a “break”, I need an uninterrupted shower, my baby to sleep, someone to cook or bring over dinner, a nice nap, some time to recharge. But in the early days I need a break from everything but the baby.
Here is a list of some things you should say instead…
Here is a water/ what can I grab you for a snack?
Hydration=lactation and a breastfeeding mother is always hungry. That is all.
If you want to pump, I can feed the baby while you take a shower/ nap/ watch your other kids
In the early days of breastfeeding there is no schedule, baby eats on demand and there is nothing you can do but feed. Chances are mom is not going to enjoy a nap or shower unless she KNOWS baby will be taken care of. After pumping she can get real rest and an uniterrupted nap or shower knowing her baby is with a trusted caregiver and a bottle of milk.
I know this is hard, you are doing great!
Breastfeeding is HARD. We need constant reminders that we are doing great. It feels like all we do is nurse and pump and it can be a lot.
If you are planning to introduce bottles, I’m happy to help
As I said before, introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby aint easy! and again some moms choose not to introduce bottles. When they do it is best to have someone besides mom give a bottle because babies are smart creatures and they know the difference between their mom and factory made nipples.
Breastfeeding is hard. help a mama out and give us a snack or some reassurance.