When it comes to feeding a baby, it seems like EVERYONE has advice to share with you. However, those people can be extremely wrong. The information can be outdated and just plain false or myth. My goal with this post is to bring some common myths to your attention.
- If your baby is eating frequently, then they aren’t getting enough. And this then leads to the top up trap. The reason for frequent feeds (aka cluster feeding) are many: growth spurt, leap, establishing milk supply, comfort, etc. Also, breastmilk is easily digested, so breastfed babies get hungry more frequently.
- The amount of milk you pump is how much milk your baby gets from your breasts. Your baby is the best pump. Some women don’t respond well to pumps. Usually the amount you pump is only half of what baby eats.
- You need to give your boobs a break so they can make milk. Wrong. Your breasts are always making milk. If your baby does empty the breast while nursing, it tells your body to make more. Empty breasts results in faster production.
- Having soft breasts means you don’t have any milk. Again, you’re always producing. Having soft breasts just means you’re being emptied out regularly which increases production, so congrats!
- Breastfed babies need to be given water sometimes. Don’t even dare give that little baby water! Breastmilk (or formula) provides enough liquids so as they can eat when they want. Breastmilk is 88% water. Just nurse more frequently if your baby is dehydrated. Too much water can cause oral water intoxication. It can also lead to weight loss.
- You can’t let your baby use you as a pacifier. Letting your baby do so not only provides comfort, but also lets your body know to produce more milk. If your supply is low, latch on!
- Babies only get milk the first 20 minutes. As said a million times in this post… YOU’RE ALWAYS PRODUCING! If 20 minutes passes and your baby is still sucking away, let her be!
- Some babies are allergic to breastmilk. This is sort of true, but can be fixed. It’s not the breastmilk, but a food the mother has eaten. Try removing dairy or other foods to see how your baby responds.
- There’s no nutritional value of breastmilk after 6 months. Your milk is constantly adapting to baby’s needs. Breastmilk also helps boost the immune system, which isn’t fully developed until 2 to 6 years.
- You have to “pump and dump” if you drink alcohol. If you drink, relax. The rule for alcohol is if you’re able to drive and hold your baby safely, then it’s safe to nurse.
- You can’t nurse if you’re sick. IF YOU ARE SICK PLEASE NURSE! Nursing while you’re sick actually protects baby from getting sick by giving her antibodies.
- If you don’t leak, then you have no milk. Not true. Some women just don’t leak.
- Your baby will be clingy and dependent. Although it is true at first, it’s proven that breastfed babies tend to be more independent later on.
- Sore nipples are inevitable. False. This is usually caused by an improper latch. If needed, see a lactation consultant.
- Your breast size determines how much milk you have. Many women fear that they won’t produce enough milk because their breasts are “too small.” I was one of those ladies. Truth is, size doesn’t matter!
Did I miss any myths? What are some myths or crazy statements you’ve been told? Leave a comment below!