10 Myths About Breastfeeding That Need to Be Busted

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From the moment you announce your pregnancy, it seems like everyone around you has an opinion on how you should care for and raise your child. Family members, friends, and even co-workers may try to give you advice about cloth versus disposable diapers, co-sleeping versus cribs, and breastfeeding versus formula.

For the most part, parents need to make their own decisions about what’s right for them and their babies. But making good choices also requires being properly educated on the subject—old wives’ tales just aren’t going to cut it. So we’ve compiled a list of breastfeeding myths to help you decide whether breastfeeding is the best route for your little one and to help you breastfeed successfully if that is the route you choose.

Myth 10: Breastfeeding is easy.

Mothers and babies are hardwired for breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be pros at it right away. If it were really that simple, there would be no such thing as a lactation consultant. If you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby but it just doesn’t seem to be working, try not to get frustrated. Instead, get some help. It can be done, and you are not a bad mother for needing some assistance.

Mother breastfeeding her baby

Myth 9: Pain is just part of the process.

No, you don’t just have to suck it up and let it hurt. Breastfeeding can be difficult for a variety of reasons, but pain does not need to be one of them, at least not in the long-term. If breastfeeding is causing you pain, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant about what you can do differently. Sometimes the difference is as simple as switching breastfeeding positions.

Myth 8: You shouldn’t wake a baby up to breastfeed.

It’s probably true that most new moms worry a little too much when their babies sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours without a feeding. For the most part, it’s okay to let your baby sleep a little longer. But if it’s becoming sort of a habit for your baby to go long periods of time without breastfeeding (especially if these breaks occur more than once per day), you may have good reason to wake your baby for a feeding. You will both be happier and healthier if your little one eats more regularly. A regular feeding schedule may also help you produce a steadier supply of milk.

Small baby girl sleeping on mothers hands closeup. Top view. Woman holding infant girl. Motherhood.

Click “next” below to see more common myths about breastfeeding.

Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?
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