Top 25 Breastfeeding Myths Debunked…Which Ones Did You Think Were True?

No, biting doesn't have to end breastfeeding...

Top 25 Breastfeeding Myths Debunked…Which Ones Did You Think Were True?

  1. Breastfeeding is painful for the first few weeks. No, it shouldn’t be. If it is, it’s a sign that something isn’t right with baby’s latch. It can be painful feeding a baby when your breasts are ripped to shreds. Contact a lactation consultant ASAP so you can get your baby latched on correctly- and save yourself (and your boobs) a lot of agony.
  2. Engorgement is normal and is a sign that everything is going well. Not quite. Some engorgement after birth or during weaning can be a sign that your body hasn’t caught up to the changes in demand for your nursling. But, often engorgement indicates latch issues, or in some cases indicates you may be following some not-so-great advice.
  3. There is not enough milk during the first few days after the birth, so most babies need some formula until the milk “comes in.” Nope. Babies are receiving the incredible benefits of colostrum those first few days of life. No need to supplement with anything else until milk comes in.
  4. A baby should be on the breast for a certain amount of time…Some babies like to take their time, others get it done quickly. What’s important is that baby is gaining weight and having enough wet/soiled diapers a day. Women for centuries have successfully fed babies without excel sheets and egg timers and you can too!
  5. Pumping is a good way of knowing how much milk you have. Often moms don’t produce the same for the pump as they do for their actual nursing baby. Don’t get discourage by low pumped milk supply. Again, if baby is gaining and wetting/soiling her diapers – there is no need to worry!
  6. If your breasts don’t feel full, that means your milk supply is inadequate. FALSE!
  7. Infant formulas are almost the same as breast milk. Absolutely not true. Researchers discover new things everyday about the many benefits of breastfeeding.
  8. Doctors know a lot about breastfeeding.
  9. Some babies are allergic to breastmilk. Nope. They may be allergic to something you’re eating, but not to your milk itself.
  10. Nipples need to “toughen up” in order to breastfeed. Luckily, nipples are already perfectly designed to breastfeed. No need to take out the sandpaper before baby arrives (I know, yikes, right?)
  11. If you give a baby a bottle, he will not like the breast any more. Which would you choose a.)snuggling with your favorite person on earth drinking the most perfect food for you in all of creation or b.) a poor powdery substitute. Exactly.
  12. If you breastfeed you will sleep less than if you bottle feed. Not necessarily. Co-sleeping, anyone? Also…there’s this…
  13. You can’t eat your favorite foods if you breastfeed. Actually, most of the time, you can. Baby will learn to like what you like.
  14. You can’t have a glass of wine if you breastfeed. Happily, drinking in moderation does not affect baby (out of the womb)!
  15. Breastfeeding makes your breasts sag. Nope! That’s just age.
  16. After 1 year, breast milk provides no more benefit to the baby. Breastfeeding is a superfood and provides countless  benefits indefinitely.
  17. There is no reason to breastfeed beyond the first few months because your milk will turn to water. Does anyone still believe this? We didn’t think so.
  18. Breastfeeding will lead to bone loss. Actually, just the opposite. In the longterm, lactation may actually help reduce osteoporosis!
  19. If you have twins or more, you will definitely need to use formula. You’d be surprised. Your body is amazing.
  20. If your baby is gassy or cries a lot, it means he is allergic to your milk. Or it could just mean you ate a bean burrito.
  21. Your baby will sleep longer at night if you give her a bottle of formula. This theory has been debunked again and again. No. No. No.
  22. If your baby doesn’t breastfeed in the first week, he probably never will. There is still time! Contact a lactation consultant today if you’re interested in re-lactating.
  23. If you have flat nipples, your baby won’t be able to breastfeed. Nipples come in all shapes and sizes. Babies nurse from all kinds of nipples.
  24. If your nipples are too big, your baby won’t be able to breastfeed. Ha!
  25. If your breasts are too small, too big, too (fill in the blank), you won’t be able to breastfeed. Ha! Ha! Ha! No. No. No.

This post was adapted/inspired by Renee Beebe’s original post titled Breastfeeding Hurts and Other Painful Myths over at The Second 9 Months.