8 Breastfeeding Myths: What Grandma Could Be Wrong About
When you become a mother for the first time, there’s a lot to learn.
As, you may have experienced at your baby shower, friends and family are quick to dole out advice. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Sometimes, advice you get from a good intentioned relative might actually be a common breastfeeding myth.
The following list will help you determine what’s helpful and what to ignore so you can stop worrying, and focus on your breastfeeding relationship with your new baby.
You Should “Prepare Your Nipples”
The only thing you need to do for your nipples to prepare them for breastfeeding is buy a good nipple butter. The myth that you need to toughen them or desensitize them can actually be harmful in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Do not scrub or hurt your nipples in any way, it can damage your skin which can make breastfeeding harder.
Nipple stimulation can actually stimulate labor. Trust that your body will prepare your nipples naturally as your pregnancy progresses, there is no need to try to move that process along.
You Need to Change Your Diet
Breastfeeding moms burn anywhere between 200-500 calories a day, make sure you are eating a healthy diet full of nutrient rich foods, and drink plenty of water.
Unless you notice your baby is reacting to a certain food in your diet, don’t deprive yourself of eating the normal foods you enjoy on a regular basis. Food reactions in breastfeeding babies are not that common.
However, if your baby is experiencing symptoms other than the normal amount of fussiness or gas after a feeding, consider checking your diet. The number one cause of allergies and food reaction is cow’s milk, 2nd is Soy products. Try removing dairy products from your diet and wait 2 weeks to see if you notice an improvement.
If your baby experiences excessive spitting up, vomiting or crying for hours. Then it may be necessary to seek the help of a medical professional. (Kellymom.com)
While there may be some pain and discomfort in the first few days as you get used to the new sensation of your baby latching and sucking, this discomfort should be easily to get over.
Tips to know what is normal: Latch-on pain that lasts no more than 30 seconds into the feeding. The pain should not continue through the entire feeding, and there should not be pain between feedings. There is not skin damage, no cracks, blisters or bleeding. Your nipple should look the same before and immediately after the feeding- not flattened, creased or pinched.
If you regularly experience pain while breastfeeding, the best thing to do is to seek help from a lactation consultant right away to ensure you have a positive breastfeeding experience.
Breastfeeding Moms Can’t Get Pregnant
Exclusive breastfeeding is a great way to prevent pregnancy and it works very well as long as you meet the following criteria:
- Your don’t have menstrual periods.
- Your baby is younger than 6 months,
- Your baby is breastfeeding on cue, day and night.
- Your baby isn’t getting anything besides breast milk, (not formula, supplements or solids of any kind).
If you are back at work and pumping regularly, there is a greater chance you get pregnant while you are breastfeeding, increases by 5.2%.
Hormonal contraceptives dry breast milk, since interferes with production of prolactin. Consider the use of condoms or other ways to prevent pregnancy.
If You Nurse Your Baby Too Much, You Will Spoil the Baby
You cannot hold, cuddle or breastfeed your baby too much. An exclusively breastfed baby will only nurse as much as needed. Frequent nursing in the first months is normal and helps establish milk supply. Babies nurse for reasons other than just food. They nurse for closeness, comfort and warmth.
The idea of spoiling a baby simply doesn’t make sense. Newborns are too young to understand how to purposely manipulate or use bad behavior to get what they want. It’s best to give your baby all the care and attention she asks for so she learns she can trust you to meet her needs. Holding your child and comforting her when she needs it, helps parents bond and is necessary for healthy development.
If you believe your baby may be nursing too much, you may want to get help from a lactation consultant, if baby is not transferring milk effectively, you may need help adjusting her latch.
You Should Stop Breastfeeding if Baby Is Sick
When your baby is sick, she needs to breastfeed more than ever.
The best thing for a breastfed baby who is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea is breastmilk. Nursing helps your baby stay hydrated, breastmilk is rapidly digested and the composition of your breastmilk will change to meet the needs of your baby. Your body is already making antibodies to fight the virus or bacteria and by breastfeeding you are making your baby stronger to fight the sickness that he has. The antibodies present in your milk are specific to your baby’s illness and will help your baby recover quickly.
You Shouldn’t Nurse If You Are Sick
If you are sick with a virus, its most likely that you’ve already exposed your baby to your illness even before you had symptoms. Your breastmilk will contain antibodies that help to protect your baby against your illness. There are very few illnesses that would prevent you from breastfeeding.
Even if you are sick with food poisoning, you can continue to breastfeed because it will not transfer through breast milk. The most important thing for you to do when you are sick is to make sure that you are getting enough rest and plenty of fluids to help you get healthy.
Most medications are compatible with breastfeeding. You must know that medications that dry your sinus (runny nose) also dry breastmilk. There are website that you can check for medication safety during breastfeeding, we recommend LactMed.
There Is No Benefit to Breastfeeding After One Year
The benefits of breastfeeding don’t suddenly stop after a certain period of time. In fact breastfeeding benefits work for a lifetime since they contribute to your baby's organs development. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond. How long to breastfeed is up to each mom. Just as breastmilk changes throughout the first year, it continues to adapt for the needs of your growing toddler. As long as you and your baby are happy and wish to continue breastfeeding, you should.
The amount of breastfeeding information and advice from other mothers out there can be overwhelming for a new mom. Hopefully now that these breastfeeding myths have been dispelled, you can distinguish the difference between the facts and myths so you can decide what’s best for you and your baby. (themilkmeg)
Lacti-Cups® can help new nursing moms save 4–12 ounces of breastmilk and hours of pumping and cleaning per day.
They can be used in between feedings and while your baby is feeding from the opposite breast, by collecting all the naturally occurring leaks that are usually wasted in nursing pads.
Learn more at https://www.lacti-cups.com
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