20 Truths and Myths about Breastfeeding
There’s a lot of bad information out there about nursing and what it’s like. Here some common misconceptions and their truths.
1. Breastfeeding moms have to follow a careful diet. False. It’s good to eat a balanced diet, but you don’t need to consume any special foods. But watch your baby and avoid foods that upset him.
2. Moms have to eat more to breastfeed. Hardly. You only need 300-500 extra calories per day to breastfeed effectively and you will eat them without noticing much of a change. However, she does have to drink a lot more water, up to double her regular intake!
3. Breastfeeding is inconvenient. It depends on how you look at it. A breastfeeding mom doesn’t have to worry about bottles, sterilizing nipples, warming milk or measuring formula – she can take her baby and go anywhere she likes.
4. Women without breast augmentations or reductions can’t breastfeed. Nope. There’s no evidence that implants are harm to babies, however some women find troubles with their milk supply.
5. Many women can’t produce milk. False. The vast majority of women produce plenty of milk for their children, even an overabundance. Low milk supply problems can be overcome.
6. Breastfeeding should hurt. Nope. There might be some discomfort during the first days, but it eventually fades as you learn your baby and your body. If you have pain after a week, consult your doctor.
7. A breastfed baby needs water in hot weather. False. Everything your child needs is in your breast milk.
8. Mothers who receive vaccines need to stop nursing. False. There’s no evidence that this is harmful to baby except in the case that baby has an immune deficiency.
9. A baby must breastfeed 20 minutes on each side. False. A baby will feed as much as his body requires, just make sure he’s getting his full. Sometimes your baby will stay at the breast without really feeding (he may want comfort or security, which is fine). If baby is taking much longer, review your latching technique.
10. There’s no way to know how much breast milk the baby is getting. While we can’t measure how much baby receives, we can judge by the baby’s sucking motions, duration at the breast, hunger and health if he’s getting enough.
11. Moms taking medication shouldn’t breastfeed. False. There are very few medications that prevent breastfeeding, and in most cases there are alternative medications that are safe. But always check with your doctor first!
12. Small-breasted women produce less milk. This isn’t true at all. There’s no evidence to suggest it.
13. Breast milk and formula cannot be offered together. Not true. There’s no reason you can’t supplement with formula (if you must). However, they shouldn’t be mixed in the same container.
14. Nursing in public is indecent. False. Breastfeeding is natural and important. If someone has a problem with you breastfeeding, it’s their problem.
15. Milk supplies can suddenly “dry up.” Not true. These changes do not happen overnight.
16. If a mom doesn’t breastfeed for days or weeks, the milk can sour. Absolutely false. Breast milk doesn’t work like that. It’s as good as can be.
17. Babies need other types of milk after six months. Not true. Breast milk provides everything a baby needs. However, it’s good to introduce solid foods to teach baby now eat and to gain other sources of iron.
18. Women with flat or inverted nipples can’t breastfeed. False. Babies don’t suck on the nipple, they suck on the breast.
19. Pregnant women have to stop breastfeeding. Nope. There is no medical reason to stop during a pregnancy. Some women breastfeed right through their delivery day.
20. Moms can’t produce enough breast milk for twins. False. A woman’s body will adapt and produce enough breast milk to supply multiples. It just takes some work and patience!
Guest Blogs by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow
San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder for privacy while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of discretion while nursing in public. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.
After Clark read a recent Duke University study on toxic chemicals in baby products, she sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed. Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, the nation's leading fire-retardant research specialist, and a new mother herself, said, “It's wonderful to find a nursing pillow on the market that is not treated with chemical flame-retardant additives in the filling material. San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud this manufacturer for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”
San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin Eco*Loft™ fiber, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.
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