Five Myths About Breastfeeding

Aug 18 • 2016

If you’ve breastfed your children in the past or are thinking about breastfeeding in the future, you’ve likely done a lot of research to prepare. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we’ve shed light on some of the most common breastfeeding myths and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: If you’re nursing a lot, your baby isn’t getting enough milk.
One of the most popular breastfeeding myths is that nursing more often leads to poor milk production, which then means your little one isn’t getting fed enough. The truth is, a healthy baby should be eating anytime he shows the need. Because it’s easier for babies to digest breast milk, they often get hungrier faster than a baby who is fed with formula.

Nursing Tips:

  • Feeding every two to three hours is common.
  • One sign that you are producing a healthy supply of milk is the presence of the milk-ejection reflex.

Myth 2: Within 5-10 minutes of nursing, your baby will have the milk he needs.
Some older babies do get what they need that quickly, but this is not an accurate generalization. For many newborns, learning to suck efficiently is a process. Because of this, they need a longer time to nurse. Additionally, some moms don’t let down right away, which can impact the baby’s ability to take in the milk. The best method is to allow your baby to suck until he shows signs that he is full, like detaching or relaxing his arms.

Myth 3: Resting between nursing sessions can help you produce more milk.
In actuality, the more often you nurse, the more milk you make. In fact, if you’re breaking your usual nursing schedule in order to rest, your milk supply could suffer rather than grow. This is because your breasts hold milk throughout the day – the emptier your breast is, the quicker your body will work in order to replace the missing milk. If you wait until your breast is completely filled up before you breastfeed, your body starts to think that it is making too much milk and slows down overall production. A good rule of thumb is to nurse nine to ten times each day in order to prevent this from happening.

Myth 4: Stress, inadequate diet, and fatigue negatively impact your milk supply.
These factors rarely cause low milk supply. Instead, supply issues are more commonly due to poor latch-on, incorrect positioning, suckling problems, and infrequent feeding. The woman’s body is highly developed, allowing it the ability to still produce enough milk for her child even during times where there is a lack of food.

Myth 5: Breastfeeding reduces sensitivity in the breast and changes its shape and size.
Breastfeeding itself does not cause your breasts to change at all – the look and feel of your breasts simply changes due to pregnancy itself. In reality, breastfeeding can actually reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Have you found certain stories about breastfeeding untrue? Share them with us in the comments section.