6 Myths of Breast Feeding
Posted October 10, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 4 min read
he process and experience of breastfeeding is a mystery to many. With mixed messages on the Internet and in the media, there is a lot of information available and much of the information can be confusing to new mothers.
Myth: Babies naturally know how to breastfeed.
Your baby is born with infant reflexes that can help with breastfeeding like a suck reflex and a rooting reflex.
The suck reflex is the baby’s instinct to suck anything that touches the roof of their mouth.
The rooting reflex is when the baby turns their head towards any stroking on the cheek or the mouth.
Although your baby is born with these natural instincts, they do not guarantee breastfeeding success.
Breastfeeding has to be learned and practiced by both baby and mommy.
Shortly after birth, the medications taken during labor can have an effect on the baby’s reflexes and can cause a slight depression in their brain function compared to baby’s brain function whose mommy did not receive labor medications (Don’t be discouraged though!).
Use pain medications if you need them! The effects on your baby are minor and last only a short period of time; it is just something to keep in mind if you and your baby are having difficulties with feeding in the early hours after childbirth.
Myth: You have to drink milk to make milk.
Drinking milk has little to do with a woman’s production of breast milk.
Whether a mother drinks milk, has nothing to do with her breast milk supply.
It is, however, important for the mother to remain hydrated with any form of liquid and consume a well-rounded, healthy diet.
The body will draw the necessary nutrients from her body to add to her breast milk.
If a mother is undernourished, she will become further undernourished while her body continues to supply the baby with nutrients.
Myth: Breastfeeding always hurts.
Breastfeeding should rarely hurt.
Your nipples may become sensitive when you start breastfeeding because of an increased hormone level after delivery and increased contact with your baby during feeding.
Although nipple sensitivity is normal, nipple pain is not normal and should be evaluated by a lactation consultant to determine the cause.
The most common cause for painful nipples is an incorrect latch or position and can be lessened with the help of a lactation professional.
Myth: There is no way to determine how much breast milk the baby is getting.
It is true that it’s difficult to determine the exact amount that a breastfed baby is getting, at any given feeding session.
As stated under myth five, there are signs that the baby is getting enough milk, which can be measured by the weight gain and diaper output.
The exact amount of breast milk is not the important factor as, with any given feeding, the amount of breast milk and composition change.
The important part is whether the weight gain is appropriate and the diaper output is adequate.
There is no need to worry about how much breast milk the baby is getting.
Myth: You can’t breastfeed if the size and shape of your nipples is not perfect.
Every woman has different sized and shaped breasts and nipples.
There is no
perfectbreast for breastfeeding.
The other factor to consider is that every baby is different.
For example, the size of their mouth, lips and tongue, etc.
The anatomic compatibility between mommy and baby is what makes for a better breastfeeding experience.
Myth: Don’t wake a sleeping baby to breastfeed.
Unless your baby is older than three months and a well-established breast feeder, this statement is not true.
In the first couple of days after birth, your baby will sleep a lot.
In order to create a regular breastfeeding routine and provide your baby with the necessary energy, you need to wake up your sleeping baby.
Allowing a baby to continue to sleep and have longer periods of time between feedings could actually make them sleepier, and this can become a problem.
In the days following birth, mothers need to wake their baby, provide them with nutrition and establish a feeding routine.