3. Forfeiting Midnight Feedings
“Honey,” your husband says one morning, putting his hand on your exhausted shoulder, “why don’t you pump some milk today and I’ll get up with the baby tonight so you can sleep?” Music to your ears—but not a terrific plan, says Harvey:
“If a mother consistently sleeps when her baby needs to be fed, her milk supply may drop.” If your spouse extends this generous offer, thank him profusely and suggest a compromise: He can retrieve the little noisemaker, change her, bring her to you and then return her to bed once the feeding is over. And when you’re craving a delicious slice of slumber, keep your eye on the prize (untold health benefits for your baby and you) and remind yourself that it won’t be long before the midnight buffet closes permanently.
4. Trying to Force a Schedule
As convenient as it would be to plan out a day’s worth of feedings, a newborn doesn’t wear a watch. She doesn’t care if it’s been 15 minutes or four hours since her last meal; when her tummy rumbles, she wants to eat. And you need to let her—if you don’t, you risk poor weight gain for her and decreased milk production for you.
5. Taking an All-or-Nothing Approach
Modern-day moms balance more responsibilities than the busiest CEOs, and it can be hard to muster the energy and enthusiasm to feed your baby breast milk exclusively. Yes, breastfeeding is best—but it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Supplementing with formula is not the end of the world, especially after six weeks, when the risk of “nipple confusion” diminishes. What your baby drinks is only part of her overall health picture; genetics and environment also play a role.
Harvey admits to being realistic. “I try to be sympathetic to women’s situations,” she says. “Some breast milk is better than none.”