Most new moms have heard many breastfeeding myths and horrors. I know I have heard my share of things. When you become a new mom, other people tend to bombard you with a lot of information on the best way to raise a new baby and the best way to feed them. My post breastfeeding essentials for a nursing mom was really popular and inspired me to write this one.
Before having my daughter I often heard from others some of the myths mentioned below. The most common thing I heard is if you breastfeed your baby, your baby will be super clingy. With all the stories out there, it makes you wonder whether or not you want to breastfeed your baby. Like all other moms you want to make sure your getting the the correct information. I decided to share with you five common breastfeeding myths that will hopefully give you a more realistic expectation on breastfeeding. My friend who is a lactation consult was kind enough to help me write this post and I am super grateful to her for sharing her knowledge. Before I get to the common myths, I would encourage you to visit these amazing resources with information and expert advice on breastfeeding:
Dr. Newman is well known in the breastfeeding world and has tons of video resources to help make breastfeeding less challenging.
This is a great website to find all breastfeeding related topics that are supported by evidence
This website is a huge directory of lactation consultants. If you need help and need to find local lactation consultant, this is where you should go
The WHO has some general resources on breastfeeding and simple infographics
Five Breastfeeding Myths Debunked
Myth #1: Breastfeeding is easy
Babies naturally have an innate behaviour to look and want to feed from their mother’s breast, but breastfeeding is a time consuming learning process for both mother and baby. It takes practice and support with positioning the baby for breastfeeding and making sure that the baby is correctly attached to the breast.
It is highly recommended to develop a connection with your baby during your first few attempts at breastfeeding. Skin-to-skin contact may help you to do so. Place your unclothed baby on your bare chest when you feel that your newborn is fussy or struggling to feed. This should calm the baby and trigger the instinct. I’ve written about the importance of skin to skin contact in this post, The Power of Hugs and A Hug Plan.
Myth #2: Breastfeeding hurts
Breastfeeding should not be painful and if it is very uncomfortable you should be seeking advice from a lactation consultant as they will be able to help you. There could be a number of reasons such as positioning or incorrect latching that can damage the nipples causing pain.
Myth #3: Small breasts produce less milk while big breasts produce more
The size of the breast does not determine how much milk a mother will make. The amount of milk you produce is correlated by how much the baby feeds. The more the baby feeds, the more milk your breasts will produce. Also, a diet rich in nutrition and good caloric intake will also influence milk production.
Myth #4: Babies who breastfeed become super clingy babies
Breastfeeding is another opportunity to bond with your baby, so your baby might use that moment to get closer to you. However, all babies are different. There are some babies that are clingy and some that are not so clingy regardless of how they are fed.
Myth #5: After year one, babies are too old to breastfeed
According to this article by the WHO , it is recommended that with the appropriate complementary foods, a mother can breastfeed up to two years of age or beyond. The importance of breastfeeding for mother and baby is evident. Doctors recommend breastfeeding at least up to 6 months and continue the process up to two years if you can. With your breast milk, your baby is getting all the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth. Breastfeeding also reduces your baby’s risk of many illnesses and diseases, promotes healthy weight gain for a baby and healthy weight loss for the mom. Therefore, it is important to continue the process as long as you both enjoy it. Your baby will also stop breastfeeding when he/ she is ready.
I hope you enjoyed reading five breastfeeding myths debunked and that it helped relieve some anxiety.
Do you know any other breastfeeding myths?
Hope you enjoyed the post
Until Next Time,
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