Before you became a mom, you may have thought that breastfeeding was intuitive. You may have even thought it was easy. But if you've ever actually tried to nurse, you know that is not always the case. It can take a lot of practice and patience to get into a good breastfeeding groove with your baby. And while trying to get the hang of things, you may be willing to try just about anything to make the process easier. But not everything you do is good for you and your baby. There are some bad breastfeeding habits you should consider dropping.
Things like nursing your baby to sleep or taking her off the breast before she's had enough to eat may seem like small things, but they can have a negative effect on your baby's mood and ability to sleep. And while we're on the subject of sleep, it's important to limit the amount of caffeine you consume while you nurse — even if you don't think you could keep your eyes open without it.
It may seem tough now, but dropping at least one of these bad nursing habits can help you and your baby in the long run.
1. Nursing Baby Sleep
It may be easy for you to stick your boob in your baby's mouth to get him to fall asleep, but nursing your baby to sleep can lead to sleep problems down the road if you're not careful, according to Baby Center. If you get into the habit of nursing your baby down at night, he'll always depend on your milk to fall asleep when he wakes up during the night.
2. Ignoring Your Diet
It's OK to be focused on your baby's needs, but it's just as important to watch what you eat when you're nursing. As Kid's Health mentioned, you should be adding an extra 300 to 500 calories to your diet while nursing, with a special emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
3. Not Letting Baby Lead
You may be tempted to take the baby off of your breast when you think he's done, but According to La Leche League International, a baby who is satisfied and full will come of the breast on his own.
4. Feeling Ashamed
As a nursing mom, you will find yourself in some situations that will require more discretion than others. But you should never be embarrassed to nurse your baby. You are doing a very important job for your little one, which should make you incredibly proud.
5. Drinking Too Much Coffee
As a new mom, you may need coffee to help you get through the day. But you should be careful about the amount of caffeine you are consuming on a daily basis. As Kid's Health mentioned, more than two servings of caffeine per day can be bad for your baby's mood and sleep.