Debunking Breastfeeding Myths
Updated: Mar 11
When it comes to breastfeeding, myths abound. And occasionally, these misconceptions can take away from the desire to breastfeed or give a mom-to-be the false notion that breastfeeding won’t work for her. We are big fans of debunking myths, so here we go...
Now that you are a mom, you’ve got plenty of parenting skills to learn. It’s all so new, and no doubt, you wonder how you will cover the bases to perfect parenthood.
There are the challenges of raising your child that we are sure you are worried about. Will you be a parent that co-sleeps with their baby, or one that chooses to have your babe in their own comfy crib?
Do you plan to be a permissive parent or more of the authoritarian type? Is homeschooling your plan, or will you send your child off to the neighborhood school?
Yup. parenting decisions have to be made, and often, the answers come from research or talking to other parents. Typically though, the opinions of others are based solely on personal feelings and even myths. While hearing others’ stories is a good thing, sometimes, the decision you make has to come from your heart.
There are many breastfeeding myths out there
When it comes to breastfeeding, for example, myths abound. And occasionally, these misconceptions can take away from the desire to breastfeed or give a mom-to-be the false notion that breastfeeding won’t work for her.
We are here to debunk those myths and get you ready for the most natural way to feed your baby. It’s healthy for both of you and cements the bond between you in a beautiful way. So, let’s get started and set things straight.
MY BREASTS ARE TOO SMALL
Moms that have small breasts can breastfeed with confidence, knowing that their breasts are designed to produce milk just as well as a more-endowed woman can. You may have to feed more often due to lower volume, and you should definitely feed your babe from both breasts at one sitting. Feed your child on demand and check their diaper to ensure that your newborn is producing lots of urine. But too small for breastfeeding? No, that is a myth.
MY BABY WON’T GET ENOUGH NUTRIENTS FROM MY MILK
This is an unfounded fear that many new moms have, so don’t worry. You are not alone in this concern. However, it is not something that you should consider as accurate. In fact, breast milk contains everything needed to build your babe’s immunity and further the development of their brain and cognition. Breast milk contains protein, fats, vitamins, digestive enzymes, and components that stimulate growth. Your breast milk changes to suit your baby’s life stage, too. Think colostrum on day one and the medicinal qualities that your milk has for different periods in your infant’s development.
BOTTLE FEEDING IS EASIER
This is a common misconception. Some parents-to-be feel that a breastfed baby will tie the mom down. Others think that breastfeeding takes up more time than bottle feeding. This just isn’t true. Feeding your precious one from the breast means no bottles to wash and sterilize and no formula to mix and prepare. The cost-saving factor must be taken into consideration, too.
I WILL NEVER GET IT RIGHT
There is no rule book for breastfeeding. Practice latching on from day one, and learn which position gives the most comfort to you and your wee one. The rest will fall into place, and feeding your newborn will soon become the very natural process it was meant to be. If you would like to learn from others, discuss questions, or simply gain reassurance, join a breastfeeding support group in your area.
I NEED TO SUPPLEMENT WITH WATER
This is a myth that needs to be debunked right from the start. One of the miracles of breast milk is that the composition changes as your baby’s needs do. Even if you live in a hot climate, water in addition to milk is not a requirement. Truth be told, supplementing feedings with water can slow your baby’s weight gain and even contribute to jaundice. So, if you’ve heard that doing this is the right thing to do, it isn’t. Stick to breast milk alone until you and your doctor decide otherwise, and all will be well.
You and baby are in this together, ultimately...
Parenting has its ups and downs, but breastfeeding doesn’t have to be one of them. If you are having trouble, seek the help of a knowledgeable professional who can gently and assuredly guide you to a beautiful experience. And remember, your baby’s love is the best part of this incredible journey and they are right there beside you all the way.
PS - AN EVER-PERSISTENT QUESTION: WHAT CAN I DO FOR SORE NIPPLES?
It is not unusual for moms to experience sore nipples at any stage of breastfeeding, no matter how old your baby is.
If your nipples are sore in the first few days of nursing, your baby may not be latching on properly. Their lips should fan out over the nipple and breast, taking all of the nipple in as they suck.
Avoid breaking the suction before your baby is finished feeding. Removing your wee one from the breast be sometimes damaging to the nipple, and your baby will also miss the thicker, calorie-laden hindmilk that fills them up before they finish their feed.
Use a product made for sore nipples, such as Calm a Mama’s Nipple Nurture Balm. This organic balm is safe for your breastfeeding babe and soothes chapped nipples, too.
Don’t hesitate to call your doctor or a lactation consultant if you have concerns about how well your baby is feeding. Stressing over breastfeeding will not help make this natural process any easier. Feeding your baby is a joyful time and you deserve for it to be the best it can. Reach out to a support group, and revel in the sense of community that nursing moms have.
We at Calm-a-Mama are constantly creating for breastfeeding mamas, mamas-to-be and even Mums with grown kids! Apart from our nipple balm, we have you covered for everything from calm drops and flower essence sleep drops to Mama Belly Balm and Happy Baby Balm (coming in Spring 2020)
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