Breastfeeding myths can stem from outdated medical wisdom, cultural beliefs, or even simple misunderstandings. But ultimately these myths can hurt women and babies as they try to establish a strong nursing relationship.
At The Retreat, we’re passionate about giving women accurate information and support as they care for their babies, so we compiled and answered some of the most common breastfeeding myths. We hope this post is helpful to you, but you’re also welcome to join us at one of our breastfeeding workshops or contact us for more breastfeeding support!
Breastfeeding myth #1: You can’t work/go to school and breastfeed
This is one of the most common myths we encounter about breastfeeding for several reasons. First, many women fear that the transition from breastfeeding to taking a bottle will be unduly stressful for baby when mom returns to work. Some women also feel embarrassed or hesitant to pump milk at work, even if they’re legally protected to do so. Still others don’t feel supported in their breastfeeding by the family members who provide care for baby while they’re away.
Babies are beautifully resilient. Most transition from breast to pumped milk in a bottle and back again with little notice. If your baby struggles with these transitions, we suggest you reach out here or contact a lactation consultant to find a good strategy to help your baby.
One of the best ways we’ve found to prepare yourself to breastfeed and work is to attend a breastfeeding class or workshop with your support team. If, for instance, your mother will be caring for your baby when you’re at work or school, she would be a great support person to bring with you to a class. That way, you can be on the same page about how and why you’ll be providing breast milk for your baby when you’re away. You’ll also learn about your legal rights to pump milk at work and helpful tips for making the most of your pumping sessions.
Breastfeeding myth #2: Babies who are getting enough should be chubby
Many women lose perfectly good nursing relationships because loving family members pressure them to offer alternatives if baby isn’t looking “gordito.” There’s a belief that all babies should look the same, or something is wrong.
The truth is babies come in many shapes and sizes, and though formula-fed babies may be bigger, that adorable chub isn’t the whole picture. Breast milk is an extremely nutritious, probiotic, immunity-boosting, and efficient food for babies, no matter how chubby your baby looks.
If you’re worried about your baby’s weight gain, reach out to your pediatrician to chart their growth. A lactation consultant can also help you determine if your baby is getting enough milk and growing appropriately. Though formula supplementation can be a great answer to truly low milk supply, a lactation consultant can also give you guidance to boost your own supply.
Breastfeeding myth #3: Breastfeeding limits what you can eat
There’s a common belief that mothers shouldn’t enjoy spicy or rich foods while breastfeeding. Some variations of this myth also state that women should limit their diets severely, avoiding dairy, garlic, broccoli, etc.
The fact is that your food goes through some amazing processes to become breast milk, making it easy for baby to digest. And studies have shown that a diverse (and even spicy!) diet is actually great for your budding little foodie. If you notice that your baby is consistently uncomfortable after you consume a certain food, or has mucousy diapers, it may be time to consider eliminating something from your diet, but this is usually unnecessary.
The Retreat Birth Center supports you in breastfeeding your baby
Our team of midwives, doulas, and lactation counselors is here to equip you as you breastfeed your precious baby. Please check out our event calendar here to see our upcoming breastfeeding classes.
And we’d love to chat over a free one-hour tour of our birth center! Give us a call or send a message so we can set up a time to meet with you.
To schedule your free tour and consultation, please call 915-308-5000 or click here.