Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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We’ve heard many women say that breastfeeding is simply inconvenient. The women interviewed in Hoddinott’s study concur: “First-time parents in particular can find the lack of time for activities unrelated to baby and ‘me time’ a major challenge for which they are not prepared. Even those who have anticipated devoting themselves to nursing may struggle with the time taken to breastfeed, feeling anxious to ‘get back in control’ of their lives,” says Hoddinott and her study co-authors.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy, we know, and lots of new moms stop because it’s just too tough to master. In fact, a Pediatrics survey of 1,300 nursing women found that 54 percent cited difficulties (with latching and sucking) as the reason they quit during the first month.
Take it one day at a time. Don’t be put off by a difficult first week or two. Breastfeeding is a learned skill and, like all skills, there’s a learning curve. “During week two, you might be asking yourself, ‘Oh my gosh, how will I ever do this?’ ” says Ferrarello. “But after three to five weeks, most women get the hang of it.”
Watch our video: How to Breastfeed: Deep Latch Technique >>
Get Help. Do Not Delay! “Our study suggests that women undervalue the importance of breastfeeding as a reason to contact health professionals,” says Hoddinott. Her study found that—rather than taking a breastfeeding class before the birth—having a lactation consultant sit with you in person during a few actual feedings increases confidence and your nursing ability.
Remember that baby will sleep better. For stressed, time-challenged moms, a baby who sleeps soundly is a blessing. Infants younger than 3 months old do not produce their own melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. But you do, and the milk your baby gets during the night is chock-full of this magical hormone, which induces infant sleepiness and reduces irritability and colic.