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 perfect breast 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.

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