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Common Breastfeeding Myths

Updated on June 14, 2010

One major breastfeeding myth is that it is completely natural. That mother and child will just naturally know what to do. Well that is not exactly correct. What is natural about breastfeeding is that you are giving your child food that you have produced by your body instead of formula. The myth that both of you will know exactly what to do is only half correct. Most children when they are born have the instinct to want to feed right away. However, a mother is not always sure of exactly what to do. Some mothers do have a natural instinct and ability to make it happen without any help, however, most mothers need help breastfeeding. If you find yourself having trouble getting a proper latch with your child do not worry. This is completely normal. You can get help from the nurses in the maternity ward, a Lactation Consultant or Midwife.

Another common breastfeeding myth is that it is normal for breastfeeding to hurt. Well this is not true. You will experience some tenderness within the first few days of breastfeeding, however, it should go away. If the pain exists after the first 5 or 6 days go seek assistance, such as a Lactation Consultant. Note that limiting feeding time (i.e. feeding for 10 minutes instead of 20 minutes) will not help with the soreness. A new onset of pain after breastfeeding has been going well for an extended period of time may be due to a yeast infection of the nipples.

Another common breastfeeding myth is that a mother needs to drink a lot of fluids and eat a lot more to replenish the milk. That is not the case. A mother should drink enough fluids to quench her thirst. The mother’s body will let her know if she needs to drink more fluids by letting her know she is thirsty. Some women are concerned that if they eat poorly for a few days that their milk supply will decrease. This is not true. Children will get what they need. It is recommended to have a balanced diet

Mothers who bleed from their nipples should stop breastfeeding is another breastfeeding myth. You do not need to stop breastfeeding your child if your nipples are bleeding. The blood may show up in the baby’s spit up or bowel movement, however it will not harm them. Typically nipples that are bleeding are usually painful. Nipple pain should be addressed.

These are just but a few common breastfeeding myths. Should you have questions or hear a lot of conflicting information it is always recommended to seek the advise of a healthcare professional.

It is important to get the appropriate breastfeed help or support from the beginning. Without help you run the risk of having and improper latch with your child, which can lead to sore, cracked nipples. When this occurred it made breastfeeding much more difficult and created a lot of stress. The first line of breastfeeding support when your child is first born are the maternity ward nurses.

If you found this article helpful please also check out How to Relieve Gas Pain in Infants.


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