Posts Tagged lactation consultant

Common Breastfeeding Myths

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 myth is that a mother must drink a lot more liquids and eat more food to replenish their breast milk.  Well this is not true either.  You only need to eat and drink to satisfy your hunger and thirst.  Your body will let you know when you need fluids.  When you feel thirsty that is your body telling you it is dehydrated and needs more fluids.  In terms of food it is recommended that you eat a healthy balanced diet.  It has more to do with your health and not with what gets transferred to your baby during feeding.  Your baby will get what they need from you without you having to change your diet.

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. 

One myth that pops up a lot is that mothers who bleed from their nipples should stop breastfeeding.  This is not exactly the case.  A little bit of blood should not have an affect on your baby.  When your baby spits up there may be some blood.  There may also be some blood in your baby’s bowel movement, however, it should not harm your baby.  Typically bleeding nipples are related to pain.  As mentioned earlier if your nipples are painful when feeding you should go see a healthcare professional.

As you hear many different opinions on breastfeeding it will be increasingly difficult to separate the myth from the truth.  The bottom line is 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.    Remember if you experience problems breastfeeding after you have left the hospital use the resources that are available to you, such as Lactation Consultants, Midwives, Nurses or other healthcare professionals.

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