Every generation has their share of motherly myths – from how to induce labor to determining gender in the womb. There are even myths about breastfeeding -- will going out without your little one affect your milk supply? We have the answers.
Here are some common breastfeeding myths, BUSTED!
Myth: I won’t be able to do anything by myself—run errands, coffee with girlfriends, date night, etc.
We never want moms to lose their sense of independence. A new addition to your family is going to change your life, of course, but this does not mean you won’t be able to breastfeed and continue to have “you” time!
Once you have a good milk supply and breastfeeding is going well -- which is typically around 3 weeks -- you can pump and provide milk in a bottle. Anyone can feed your baby using the bottle. If you are going to be out and about longer than 3 hours, or it's before your baby’s next feeding, then bring your pump with you. Most pumps even have car adapters! What a life saver if you get stuck in traffic!
Myth: I have to drink teas and eat certain foods to make enough milk.
There is nothing wrong with trying some teas or eating healthy foods to help your body have enough energy to make milk -- but let’s talk about milk supply. Your body makes milk when it knows it is in demand. Each time your baby nurses, or each time you pump, your body will make more milk. The more often you feed your baby, the higher your milk supply. Remember to do daily skin-to-skin care with your baby—this releases hormones that increase your milk supply!
If you are ever concerned about your milk supply, talk to an IBCLC (Lactation Consultant). The Lactation Consultant can coach you through some sound ways to increase your milk supply.
Myth: Other women in my family didn’t make enough milk for their baby. This means I won’t be able to make enough milk either.
Good news! There is no research showing that low milk supply runs in the family. You won’t know what your milk supply will be like until your baby is here. To get the very best start to breastfeeding, ask your doctor about immediate skin-to-skin care after delivery. Keep the baby there for an hour! We call this “the golden hour” because it allows you time to bond with your newborn and it helps the baby have a great first feeding. Throughout the next couple of days, it may be hard, but nurse as often as your baby shows hunger cues (at least 8-12 times a day). This will help boost your milk supply in the early days.
In Part I of Breastfeeding Questions Answered, Katie Coyne answered the most common questions that she gets about breastfeeding. In Part III, Katie talks about how you can make the breastfeeding experience easier, revealing the breastfeeding essentials she tells her clients to use.
What questions can we help you answer through our network of professionals? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post your comments below.