Truths and Myths about Breastfeeding and Your Breasts

Truths and Myths about Breastfeeding and Your Breasts

Expectant moms get tons of information about breastfeeding before their babies arrive but not all of it is true.  There are many myths about breastfeeding and its repercussion on your breasts swirling around the momosphere.  We’re here to set the record straight and determine truths and myths about breastfeeding and your breasts.

Myth:  Women with small breast cannot produce as much milk. 

When it comes to making delicious, wholesome breast milk, size doesn’t matter.  Almost every new mom, regardless of her breast size, has the ability to produce milk for her baby.  Having smaller breasts doesn’t mean you have to work any harder at it either.

Truth:  Breastfeeding or pumping more often increases milk supply.

Breast milk is dependent on stimulation.  When you drain your milk ducts, your breasts release a signal to fill them back up again.  The more you drain, the more you will produce.  If you feel you have low supply, feed or pump more often.

Myth:  Breastfeeding is painful.

For the most part, breastfeeding should not be painful.  At certain times, especially at the beginning of your breastfeeding experience, you may experience tender or sore nipples.  As your body adjusts to the demands of breastfeeding, it shouldn’t hurt at all.  Also, breastfeeding may hurt if you have a breast infection, but with a few remedies, it will clear up quickly.

Truth:  Breastfeeding should continue through infections and clogged ducts.

The best way to clear up these issues is to continue breastfeeding.  Although it may be uncomfortable for a few days, consistently pushing milk through the ducts is the best solution.  Also use warm compresses and massage your breasts to help work out the problem.  The only exception is when you or your baby has thrush as this can be transferred back and forth many times.  Then you should pump until both of you are back to normal and resume breastfeeding.

Myth:  Breastfeeding makes your breast sag.

Breastfeeding actually doesn’t cause sagging but pregnancy may and multiple pregnancies can make sagging more severe.  Age, body mass index and your diet and lifestyle also affect sagging.  Behaviors like smoking may cause skin to lose elasticity and therefore sag.

Truth:  Mothers experience many benefits from breastfeeding

In addition to the many health benefits of breastfeeding for babies, moms also reap benefits such as lower likelihood for several times of cancer including breast cancer and less postpartum depression.

Myth:  Nursing moms have to be on a restricted diet.

Nursing moms can eat just about anything as long as their babies can tolerate it.  Some moms find that their babies are sensitive to certain vegetables or dairy products, especially during the newborn stage.  The only universal recommended restriction is limiting high mercury fish and alcohol consumption.

Truth:  Breastfeeding helps you lose baby weight.

Breastfeeding is hard work.  Moms can burn up to 500 extra calories a day making that incredible breast milk.  This helps moms shed the baby weight and return to their pre-baby clothes faster.

Myth:  Once you breastfeed, you should never give your baby a bottle.

Babies can usually toggle back-and-forth between the breast and a bottle easily.  If they don’t transition well, it is probably a case of laziness more than anything.  Pumping is a wonderful option for moms who can’t always be with their babies and allows babies to continue to get breast milk through bottles under someone else’s care.

Truth:  Breastfeeding is less expensive.

Formula adds up quickly.  Breastfeeding itself is free and requires little equipment if any.  Some nursing moms use a specific breastfeeding pillow while others use regular items around the house.  Moms who pump may invest in a quality breast pump and some bottles.  Otherwise, it’s natural and free!

Get your facts straight about breastfeeding and your breasts!