7 Myths About Breastfeeding That Are Just Plain Wrong
Find out the truth behind these common breastfeeding misconceptions! Learn more here!
As fun as it is to imagine a world in which every myth we’ve ever heard were factual, the truth is myths are simply ways to explain things in life that we don’t fully understand. There are myths and erroneous explanations for pretty much anything you can think of. Yes, mums… even breastfeeding. In fact, there are a lot of purported facts out there whether through the internet or word of mouth. No matter the origin of these myths, they’re nothing more than that–myths.
Today we’ll be taking a look at these superstitions, and old wives tales and debunking them in favour of the truth! We don’t claim to have the answers to all the important questions in life, but at least by the end of this article, you’ll have a better and more factual understanding of your milk supply, and nursing as a whole.
1. There are certain food that will DEFINITELY affect your milk supply
Notice that the word being emphasised here is “definitely”. That’s because some foods do allegedly help some women increase their supply. Experts like to call these types of foods “galactagogues“. However, the Australian Breastfeeding Association states that there just isn’t enough evidence to fully support these claims. Albeit, there’s no harm done if you do choose to eat galactagogues, considering some women have claimed to see increased supply.
The safer, more reliable bet for increasing your breastmilk supply is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle and diet.
2. Frequently nursing will drain you of your milk
In theory, it sounds like a logical claim. However, the human body isn’t well. Your body is capable of adapting , and when you constantly nurse your child, your body begins to compensate by producing more milk. If you’re apprehensive about breastfeeding your child because you’re afraid you’ll run low, or run out…put that fear to rest. You’re more than capable of handling your baby’s insatiable appetite.
3. The amount of milk you pump is an accurate depiction of what you’re producing
The International Breastfeeding Center (IBC) claims that the amount of milk that you pump is indicative of only one thing: the amount of milk you’re pumping. “The baby who breastfeeds well can get much more milk than his mother can pump. Pumping only tells you to have much you can pump,” says the IBC.
4. Women with smaller breasts have a lower supply
The amount of fatty tissue in a women’s breast obviously determines the size of her breasts, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of breastmilk that she is able to produce. “[T]he amount of milk you produce is usually determined by how much your baby nurses. The more the baby feeds, the more milk your breasts make,” claims Baby Center.
5. Having a low supply is very common
The IBC claims that this breastfeeding myth is simply not true. “The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk,” says the IBC. “Indeed, an overabundance of milk is common.” If women are concerned that their baby is not getting enough milk, usually the reason comes from poor latching and they should monitor their baby’s feeding accordingly.
6. Nursing mums should drink more fluids to increase their supply
William Sears, MD, of AskDrSears.com, claims that “Drinking more water than you need won’t produce more milk. In fact, by a strange biochemical quirk, forcing fluids has been shown to diminish milk production.”
Sears suggests that “While you are breastfeeding you should drink extra water, but you don’t need to overdo it. Drink enough water to quench your thirst plus a bit more, since thirst is not a completely reliable indicator of fluid needs.”
7. If your breasts feel lighter/less full, your supply is low
Renee Kam, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), says that if your breasts feel lighter, it’s typically a good thing. “[I]t’s perfectly normal for your breasts to feel soft and comfortable. This is because the amount of milk you make by this time will be in sync with the amount of milk your baby will be drinking,” says Kam.
“While breastfeeding, a mother’s breasts are never fully empty,” she adds. In other words, mums, have no fear! It’s totally normal.
This article was based on a post originally shared by Romper
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