Do you have questions about what to expect when you’re breastfeeding? Or have friends and family (or maybe even complete strangers!) offered up stories about their experiences with breastfeeding? We’re setting the record straight on some of the top myths about breastfeeding.
Myth 1: Breastfeeding is painful
Fact: While you may experience some discomfort early on, especially while you and your little one are getting the hang of things, breastfeeding should not be painful. In the early weeks, your nipples may become sensitive or sore, but there is help available! Try our Lanolin Nipple Cream – this thick cream provides a protective layer to help soothe your sore nipples. Soothies® Gel Pads are reusable gel pads, great for instant, cooling pain relief.
Myth 2: Expressed breastmilk can soothe sore nipples
Fact: According to research, Lanolin Nipple Cream, combined with breastfeeding education, is more effective than expressed breastmilk in reducing nipple pain and promoting healthy skin.
Myth 3: Switching back and forth between breast and bottle is easy
Fact: Switching your baby between a bottle and breast may cause nipple preference or confusion, especially early on. To help reduce nipple confusion, bottle feeding should be introduced after you both get the hang of breastfeeding. It typically takes four to six weeks to establish a good nursing relationship and strong milk supply.
If you do have to introduce a bottle early, choose one that is designed specifically for breastfed babies. Look for a bottle that enables baby to use the same sucking motions he or she uses at the breast, and will help encourage baby to keep breastfeeding when you are together. Practicing paced bottle feeding can be really beneficial as well. This way baby gets as much milk as they need—not more, not less—and you can better learn to spot when they are hungry or full.
Myth 4: If a baby nurses every hour, it’s a sign that mom isn’t producing enough milk
Fact: This is a common misconception.
It's absolutely normal for your baby to feed frequently in the beginning because their stomachs are so small at birth – about the size of a shooter marble! Breastmilk is easier to digest than formula so breastfed babies need to fill their tiny bellies frequently. It is also common for babies to “cluster feed” (frequent nursing) at certain times of the day and along their breastfeeding journey because of a growth spurt, usually around six weeks and then three, six and nine months of age. Again, it’s not about your milk supply – it’s about letting baby get the nourishment he or she needs.
Myth 5: Breastfeeding mothers must use both breasts at each feeding
Fact: If your baby is nursing and seems content, there’s no need to stop and switch breasts. A baby that is content at the breast seems relaxed. But if it appears that they are still hungry after eating from one breast, offer your second breast until they are full. If you don’t switch sides during the feed, offer the other breast first on the next feed. This will help to build your milk supply in both breasts.
Myth 6: Breastfeeding shortchanges partners from bonding with the baby
Fact: While breastfeeding is a special thing that mom will share with baby, there are plenty of non-feeding activities available for your partner or loved ones to use to bond with baby. Your partner can be in charge of bath time, story time, or bed time. In many cases, supporting the breastfeeding mom is crucial to mom’s and baby’s breastfeeding success.
Myth 7: Expectant mothers should rub rough terry cloths on their nipples to "toughen them up"
Fact: No way! Be good to your nipples! “Toughening” nipples can cause soreness on already tender, expanded skin. Quite the opposite, nipples need to remain supple. Lanolin Nipple Cream can be applied in the third trimester and before delivery to help keep nipples soft and supple.
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