If you have never breastfed before it can be a bit overwhelming to imagine what it is going to be like. Much of what we hear and believe about breastfeeding can make it even scarier. Here are some common myths that people believe about breastfeeding and the truth behind those myths.
Myth 1: Breastfeeding comes naturally and easy to women. I have never met a woman who had an easy time with breastfeeding from the moment her baby was born until her child naturally weaned over a year later. Maybe those women exist (and if they do, good for them!),
however, those women are not the norm. In fact, most women will have at least one issue with breastfeeding within the first two months. The reason is because breastfeeding is new to your baby. He or she has to learn to breastfeed. For new moms, you are also new to breastfeeding,
which means that you, too, have to learn to breastfeed. We all know when anyone is new to anything done mistakes will be made and some challenges will arise. That's totally normal and totally okay.
Myth 2: If you are doing it right, it shouldn't hurt. This is not true for all women. Since women
are all different, some women may experience nipple or breast discomfort even though baby is emptying the breast effectively. The best thing you can do is speak with a lactation consulant whenever you experience any pain to be sure.
Myth 3: A breastfeeding mom has to maintain a certain diet to breastfeed effectively.
Women exclusively breastfeed all over the world and we all have such different diets. Many countries do not have access to much variety, yet those moms breastfeed even longer than us in America. What we eat will not affect supply or ability to breastfeed. Feel free to eat anything you like without worrying about it.
Myth 4: If you are flat chested you will produce a small milk supply. Our bodies are designed to care for our young. Regardless of your breast size you will still make all the milk your baby needs. In fact, breastfeeding may give you bigger boobs which might be nice for a while.
Myth5: If you have to supplement with formula for whatever reason in the first few days, there's no point in breastfeeding anymore. Mothers are often advised to supplement their newborns for a variety of reasons (preemies, jaundice, etc). Even if you have to supplement for
a while, there is still great benefit in giving baby breast milk whenever you can. They can still get all the yummy goodness that is specific to your milk. While your baby is being supplemented continue to pump so you can begin to build your supply and have plenty to offer when baby can get back on the breast exclusively.
So what myths have you heard about breastfeeding? Do you have any questions about breastfeeding that no one seems to be answering consistently?
Call us today to speak to a lactation counselor, who can answer all your questions.
Photo by: Erin Morris