October 5, 2020
Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful and natural ways to feed a baby; however, there are many misconceptions surrounding it.
I want to talk about these myths because too often, moms are nervous, scared, or simply misinformed about how important it is.
Keep reading for 7 misconceptions about breastfeeding and the much-needed truths behind them.
7 Misconceptions About Breastfeeding
Although babies begin practicing the sucking and swallowing in the womb, breastfeeding is actually a learned behavior. This means it is a skill like any other that will take practice and consistency. Yes, it can be frustrating – especially during the most emotionally fragile time in a moms life, but it is worth the try. You can go to this website and ensure that you have the right help when trying to breastfeed your newborn.
This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of the smallest breasts can produce large amounts of milk. The capacity to which a woman produces milk solely relies on the milk-producing cells (breast tissue). The truth of the matter is breast size is determined by fat and has nothing to do with milk production.
Women’s bodies are made in unique shapes and forms, down to the nipple shape and size. For most women, the size of their nipple does not affect their child’s ability to nurse successfully. In other cases where nipple size may be a factor in a baby’s inability to properly latch, a lactation consultant can help provide techniques to help overcome the challenges.
Naturally, breastfeeding was designed to feel good, so having nipple pain isn’t actually normal. In the beginning stages of nursing, nipple is common due to the breast getting used to a little human being latching on it. However, if you experience toe-curling pain, needle-like sensations, and other soreness, those are indicators of deeper issues. Sometimes it is something as small as a latching issue or something more major, such as mastitis.
Most babies need to feed from both sides for a “well-balanced” meal. They may favor one side over the other whether it’s due to more production or finding comfort in the way mom holds him/her. Neglecting one side could cause the other breast to get engorged and become quite painful. Even if you choose to nurse predominantly from one, consider pumping the other one.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be fed every 2 to 3 hours (or about 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period) during the first couple weeks of life. Beyond that, your baby will begin to show you cues of when they are hungry. So as for an actual schedule, your baby will put themselves on a natural one. You’ll notice this predictable pattern within just a few short weeks.
There are medications deemed not safe for women who are nursing, however, there are a lot that are okay. In most cases you can always find a safe substitute. Simply communicate with your doctor and let them know you are nursing. If you do have to take medication that is not safe for the baby, pump throughout the duration of taking it and discard the milk. Once the medication is out of your system, return to nursing again.
The journey of breastfeeding is just like any other. There are learning curves, bad moments, and good moments. The pros typically outweigh the cons, with the most important being providing your sweet bundle of joy with nourishment and sustenance.
If you find yourself frustrated, unable to get baby to latch properly, or would like better alternatives to the traditional way of breastfeeding, connect with a lactation consultant!