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6 Breastfeeding Myths-Disguised as Advice

wilmington coastal doulas blog in wilmington north carolina

MUCH like the picture of this pup in a Hibrow disguise, light-hearted advice for new parents should spread joy, comfort and just straight happiness!

But often times information shared across generations, from person to person, in hopes of helping, stirs up more confusion and fear than anything else.

While intentions are pure, pregnant women all over the world are frequently receiving all kinds of advice. When you may not know what birth, postpartum or infant feeding looks like, the advice that is being shared is often a myth in disguise!

Today we wanted to bust open some breastfeeding myths that women are still being told and still believing to be true. Believing these myths to be true can result in an undesired outcome! 1. Never wake a sleeping baby. How many times have you heard this phrase? There are a couple reasons why this may not be true for some parents. New parents are often given instruction to feed their newborn at no less than 2-3 hours in the first few weeks. So if you have a sleepy baby on your hands, you will have to be helping baby stir awake to get a good feed. Another reason may be if the parents want to implement more of a schedule for their baby rather than attachment parenting. 2. Breastfed babies won't sleep through the night. This is a very common myth that we hear from parents regarding their baby sleeping through the night or even long stretches. More of a schedule for daytime feeding and even following baby's cues can set you and baby up for great success at night for long and consistent sleep patterns. 3. Your baby must nurse from both breasts at each feeding. In the case of nipple or breast pain, you may prefer to alternate breasts for feeding, giving your nipples a chance to heal through the break of baby's latch. So, nursing from both is a recommendation but not a requirement. 4. Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. This statement is thrown around so often you can only imagine how and what a woman might feel when she is experiencing pain. A pinching sensation when baby latches on, can be painful. The pinching pain is normal, but anything extending through the entire breastfeeding session would need a call to an expert IBCLC. 5. Nursing in the side-lying position will cause ear infections. Because of baby's suctioned latch and the flow of milk from breast to baby's mouth, your baby is less likely to have any milk gather in his or her mouth, spill out and run into their ear. Breastmilk is also likely to not encourage bacteria growth in the ear canal if milk did find its way in there. Next is probably my favorite myth to bust! 6. Breastfeeding has to be all or nothing. Every parent's feeding philosophy and journey is different. It may start and end just as you imagined or there might be hurdles left and right. Sometimes accomplishing your goal has unexpected steps in the beginning. If needed, seeking support from one of our Infant Feeding Specialists can help keep you on track with your hopes and desires.

You see how blanket statements don't serve anyone well? While there may be some truth to the myths that are tossed around, they deserve to be accompanied with respect that every woman and family is different and honor that our bodies are not all the same.

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