Although many people give breastfeeding advice with good intentions, it’s not always the best advice. The advice may be based on myth or may be outdated, so it can be really confusing on what to listen to. Here is a list of some BAD advice and what to do instead.
Giving baby a bottle of water in the summer time to help beat the heat.
After 6 months, it’s ok to give baby sips of water but before then, it’s not recommended. Why? Because baby may fill up on water and then not want to breastfeed. Breastmilk is actually 88% water, so even on a hot summer day, breastmilk will quench a baby’s thirst. In addition, breastmilk is jam packed with all the nutrition your baby will need. It even protects baby from infections and disease.
You’ll know within 2 days if breastfeeding is for you or not.
It may be difficult to make that decision after 2 days because milk doesn’t come in till about the 3rd or 4th day, sometimes longer as every woman is different. Breastfeeding can come really easy and naturally for some and for others it can be very difficult due to lots of different circumstances. A baby can be tongue tied therefore making latching a challenge. So what I’m trying to get at is that, it’s going to take time for each mother to decide whether breastfeeding is for them or not.
It’s also a good idea to get help from a lactation consultant when there are concerns with breastfeeding. She may be able to give you that one easy tweak that could change everything for you an your baby and make it a whole lot easier.
Scrubbing nipples with a washcloth so that they’ll “toughen up”
The thought of doing that just makes me cringe. Yes, initially there will be some pain with breastfeeding but eventually it will subside. But there is no need to scrub the nipples with a wash cloth. To help with nipple soreness you can apply a pea size amount of nipple cream. Make sure to ask for samples from the hospital. The amount they give you is all you should need. You can also express some breastmilk and spread it over your nipple.
Giving formula to baby at night so mom can sleep.
Now I get it, we all want more sleep as moms with infants! (That’s totally me! I’m so exhausted and the sleep deprivation is killing me!) If you decide to give your baby formula at night, I wouldn’t say it’s the worse advice ever! I respect that. We gotta take care of ourselves so we can take care of our families. But giving formula at night can potentially decrease our milk supply. The more we breastfeed the more milk we produce and the less we breastfeed, the less we produce.
You shouldn’t breastfeed with small breasts because you won’t produce enough milk
When it comes to breastfeeding, size is irrelevant. What makes breasts larger is the fatty tissue. But the fatty tissue has nothing to do with the amount of breastmilk you produce. Your breasts should get larger as they fill up with milk but the amount of milk your body produces depend on how much the baby nurses. The more baby nurses the more milk will be produced.
You shouldn’t breastfeed because it makes your breast sag.
Actually, it isn’t the breastfeeding that causes breasts to sag. The factors that contribute to breast saggy-ness are age, smoking and number or pregnancies. We can be happy knowing that breastfeeding is not the culprit. Push up bras also help!
Bottles are better than breastfeeding because you know exactly how much the baby is getting
Unfortunately we can’t label our boobs or see through them to see how much baby is actually drinking but there are other ways of determining if baby is getting enough. As long as baby appears satisfied after a feeding, baby is having enough wet diapers and growing well, we can rest assured knowing that baby is getting enough.
And there you have some of the worst breastfeeding advice. If you are a new mom or expecting, please know that breastfeeding, especially for the first time, can be REALLY stressful and challenging and it doesn’t always work out for everyone. So if you are having some difficulty with breastfeeding, you can seek help from a public health nurse or get a referral to a lactation consultant. If it doesn’t work out for you, don’t feel bad. I know there’s a lot of pressure on new moms to breastfeed but if you gave it your best shot and got help and it still doesn’t work, you’re not a bad mom. You’re an awesome mother for giving it your best shot and what’s important is that your baby is loved and fed.
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