As if breastfeeding isn't exhausting enough on it's own, try adding in some of the antiquated, misinformed, and downright entertaining old wives tales about breastfeeding that are hilariously untrue. Despite their level of hilarity, it's a little bit crazy that so many people still take these myths seriously. Whether you've heard them from a well-meaning bystander, your mother-in-law, or even, god forbid, a medical professional, all of these myths are as popular as they are easy to disprove.
As a breastfeeding mom, the last thing you need is something in the form of an old wives tale getting in the way of your confidence about your milk supply or your abilities to provide for your child the way nature intended. These myths aren't just silly and harmless. In fact, they could have a real impact in the way you view yourself as a mother, your body, and your ability to nurse your baby.
So, without further ado, I give you some of the most ridiculous breastfeeding myths out there. But more than that, I give you the information to debunk them and reclaim your confidence about breastfeeding — regardless of your hair color or breast size. (Sound ridiculous? Just keep reading).
Myth #1: Small Boobs Produce Less Milk
False. According to Baby Center, breast size makes no difference in your ability to nurse your baby.
Myth #2: Drinking Beer Will Increase Your Milk Supply
This myth has a bit more scientific backing than most, but it's definitely not an excuse to go on a drinking binge in honor of your milk supply. According to New Health Guide, it is thought that drinking beer may increase your prolactin levels, one of the hormones responsible for making milk, however it wouldn't effect your supply enough to increase it.
Myth #3: Breastfeeding Ruins Your Breasts
Although pregnancy, breastfeeding, and motherhood in general will certainly change the appearance of your breasts (they'll be bigger, smaller, perkier, saggier, fuller), breastfeeding isn't the culprit. According to Kids Health, pregnancy hormones and weight gain are responsible for the physical changes your breasts undergo.
Myth #4: Taking A Break Will Help Your Breasts Produce More
Wrong again. In fact the opposite is true: the more you nurse, the more you'll produce. Taking a break will do nothing except cause your supply to decrease, according to an article from Kids Health.
Myth #5: Consuming More Dairy Will Help You Make More Milk
Unfortunately for cheese lovers, it doesn't quite work like that. According to Baby Center, eating more or less dairy won't have any effect on the amount of milk you produce. However, dairy is a known allergen so it may have an adverse effect on your baby, as well as cause bloating or constipation in you if you go overboard.
Myth #6: Exercise Makes Your Milk Sour
Or better yet, makes your milk supply go down. False on both accounts. According to Medela, exercise won't adversely affect your milk supply in anyway (unless you're overdoing it to the point of exhaustion).
Myth #7: Being Angry Or Stressed Makes Sour Milk
Although stress can certainly cause you to have a slower let-down, it will have no effect on the taste of your milk or the amount you produce, according to Baby Center.
Myth #8: Extended Breastfeeding Spoils Children
It does just the opposite, in fact. Along with a host of other benefits, Parents stated that extended breastfeeding has been shown to foster independence in children later in life.
Myth #9: You Need To "Toughen Up" Your Nipples Before Nursing
Please don't. Although breastfeeding can be painful, any pain you experience is usually due to improper latch and should go away with practice and time, according to Kids Spot.
Myth #10: Breastfeeding Can Cause Dental Problems
Again, the opposite is true. According to Mouth Healthy, a site run by the American Dental Association, exclusively breastfeeding for at least six months has been shown to increase the dental health of your child, decreasing their risk of crooked teeth later in life and reducing the risk of tooth decay that bottle fed babies face.
Myth #11: Blondes Or Redheads Are More Likely To Have Nipple Pain
This myth doesn't really need an explanation, but just for the fun of it let's indulge. Some people have been led to believe that women with fair or sensitive skin will have more pain breastfeeding. Obviously, your skin type makes absolutely no difference in the amount of pain you will or will not experience during breastfeeding, according to Dummies.