Friends, family, doctors – even strangers! – quickly become experts on how you should be raise your children when you have a baby.
Everyone has personal anecdotes on feeding babies – from adding formula or rice cereal to breastmilk, to when you should introduce solids.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s opinions are just that: opinions. You are the expert on what’s best and what is right for your family. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, with breastfeeding and complementary foods for baby’s first year.
If you have breastfeeding goals that don’t involve adding solids, rice cereal or formula to your baby’s diet, don’t be afraid to ignore everyone’s opinions and advice. This is good time to have your partner or other advocate shield you from these negative influences so you can focus on the positive – breastfeeding – and get as much rest as possible. You know that babies need to nurse often, and both you and your baby are doing just what nature intended.
You may also encounter negativity from your healthcare provider. They may recommend introducing solids prior to six months or even supplementation. It’s important to remember that there are varying levels of knowledge about breastfeeding and you have the right to do what you believe is right for you and your baby. If you feel uncomfortable with the lack of support from your healthcare provider, you may consider a switch to a more breastfeeding-friendly practice.