There’s so much advice out there on breastfeeding, it can be tough to recognize the myths from truth. You can overhear women giving advice in support circles, in waiting rooms, and in line at the grocery store. What advice is worth listening to? In order to get the answer, I went straight to my online breastfeeding support forum to ask what snippets other expectant and breastfeeding moms have found helpful.
“Colostrum isn’t enough to meet babies needs”
For the first few days of your baby’s life, newborns will be accessing a form of breastmilk called colostrum. It’s nutrient-dense and contains so many disease-fighting properties that can’t be found anywhere else! No wonder it’s referred to as “liquid gold.” Even though it’s not large in volume, colostrum can still meet the needs of a newborn (1).
“It’s normal for your nipples to hurt”
There’s a difference between postpartum nipple tenderness and “Ouch! Ouch!” pinching pain. Nipple pain is not normal and is a sign that something’s wrong! The most common cause of nipple pain is an improper latch, but it’s a good idea to be evaluated by an IBCLC to rule out all causes and fix the issue.
“Don’t let your baby use you as a pacifier”
Breastfeeding not only provides calories, but also meets emotional needs. Newborns are hard-wired to want comfort and snuggles, and breastfeeding ensures they get it!
“Skin-to-skin is always a win!”
From regulating vital signs to stabilizing blood sugar, skin-to-skin provides so many benefits! It’s a gentle way to transition a newborn to the outside world as well as foster a positive breastfeeding relationship.
“Use a nursing pillow and keep snacks and water handy”
Comfort and positioning can be key to getting a good latch! I use the Ergobaby nursing pillow in my classes and consultations because it is curved to make the tummy-to-tummy position a breeze. Also keeping yourself fed and hydrated is important for energy and sanity.
“You are never ‘empty’ – milk is always being made!”
Your breasts are milk factories, not storage facilities! Sometimes we feel depleted during those “frequency days” (days when baby needs to feed more frequently than normal). It can cause unnecessary worry and lost confidence. The best thing to do on these days is to put your feet up, trust your body, and feed frequently.
Photography in this post is by Janae Kristen Photography
1. Wang, Y.F., Wang, J.J., et al. (1994). Preliminary study on the blood glucose level in the exclusively breastfed newborn. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 40(3): 187-188.