For first-time moms, breastfeeding can seem like an intimidating undertaking. When you're researching yourself into the Wikipedia black hole, you may come across some breastfeeding myths that seem insurmountable and maybe even deter some women from nursing altogether. But no matter the challenges you may face, in the end, breastfeeding can be totally worth it. And although breastfeeding your new baby certainly will take some getting used to, most women's fears are based on things that aren't really issues.
They say that moms who have breastfed before automatically turn into to advocates, and it's kind of true. I nursed my first daughter for 14 months (a short time compared to some!) and am currently nursing my 7-month-old. And although it hasn't always been easy (sometimes it's downright hard) I've always been willing to push through because of how beneficial breastfeeding is for both me and my baby.
So if you're concerned you may face some challenges; don't worry, you will. But I can reassure you that breastfeeding is nto as challenging as those breastfeeding myths make it out to be. You'll have to research your way through the BS, but at the end of the day, you just have to shut off your phone and trust that your body will do it's job well. You've got this, mama.
Myth 1: Breastfeeding Will Come Naturally
It may be the most natural thing ever, but that doesn't mean it will come easily. In fact, for some women, breastfeeding takes a lot of practice to get the hang of. Worth it? Absolutely. Easy? Of course not.
Myth 2: You Won't Make Enough Milk
According to the La Leche League, one of the most frequently asked questions by new moms is whether or not their baby is getting enough milk. It's a valid concern considering that there's no real way to know exactly how much milk your baby is getting unless you're using a pump. However, as long as your baby isn't showing signs of dehydration and is producing enough wet diapers, you can rely on your body's ability to know exactly how much milk your baby needs.
Myth 3: It Will Hurt
At first, breastfeeding may be a little bit painful. (I mean, you've never fed anything with your boobs before. There's bound to be a learning curve.) But as long as your baby is latched properly, you shouldn't be experiencing any pain. If you are, it may be a sign that you need to adjust your baby's latch or even seek the help of a breastfeeding consultant.
Myth 4: Pacifiers Cause Nipple Confusion
It's a widely held belief that allowing your baby to use a pacifier will interfere with their ability to latch well. But, as Today.com noted, research suggests tat pacifiers can actually helps babies breastfeed better. Either way, your baby will not get confused between the two.
Myth 5: Breastfeeding Is Affective Birth Control
Another widespread myth is that you can't get pregnant while you're breastfeeding. Actually, you can. (I did, in fact.) If your baby is less than six months old, you're exclusively breastfeeding and your period hasn't returned yet, your chances of getting pregnant are less. But (hear me loud and clear here) breastfeeding alone is not a sure form of birth control. Luckily, there are some breastfeeding-friendly methods of birth control out there.
Myth 6: You Can't Breastfeed If You've Had Surgery
Whether you've had implants, breast reduction, or an augmentation surgery of any kind, the Mommy Edition notes that you'll still be able to breastfeed despite surgeries. Be sure to speak with your doctor, of course, to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Myth 7: You Can't Drink (At All) While Breastfeeding
The rumor that nursing moms have to completely abstain from alcohol is just not true. Although a small amount of alcohol can pass into your milk, La Leche League notes that if you limit yourself and nurse before your drink, the alcohol will pass out of your system before you need to feed again.
Myth 8: Breastfeeding Will Tie You Down
Don't get me wrong, breastfeeding is a huge responsibility and will definitely take up a lot of your time. But it definitely doesn't mean you can't still have a social life. The beauty of breastfeeding is that you can do it wherever you are. So don't feel like you have to hold up in your living room for the foreseeable future just so you can breastfeed.
Myth 9: You Can't Breastfeed With Small Breasts
Wrong again. Size isn't an issue when it comes to breastfeeding. You'll have enough tissue to produce enough milk no matter the size of your ladies.
Myth 10: Breastfeeding In Public Isn't Worth The Hassle
Besides dealing with the occasional stink eye or rude comment, I've found that breastfeeding in public isn't nearly as stressful as I anticipated. Sure, there's the danger of accidentally flashing everyone within eye-shot, but it's well worth the risk.
Myth 11; You'll Leak On Everything All The Time
There will definitely be a fair amount of leaking, especially in the beginning. But it's nothing some quality nursing pads can't fix. As you nurse longer, your body will adjust to the amount of milk it's producing and you may stop leaking all together. *Cue hallelujah chorus*.