Breastfeeding should never be painful. Many mothers do report feeling, discomfort and/or tenderness, usually peaking on day 3 postpartum. The discomfort should subside after the first 30-60 seconds of each feeding. And that initial discomfort is expected to last no longer tahn 2-3 weeks postpartum.
Any pinching or pain that lasts longer than those first initial seconds or for weeks and weeks, misshapen nipples, bruising, severe cracking or bleeding can be an indication that something is not quite right. Often times it is a simple fix, like a position change or showing a mother how to look for baby to open really wide. Other times it is something that takes a little more work. If you are experiencing pain, please reach out for help early, it can usually be fixed and there is no need to push through.
You don’t make any milk at first, you have to wait for it to come in.
Your body starts making Colostrum, which will be your baby’s first milk, around 16 weeks into pregnancy. As the end of pregnancy nears, some mothers report leaking and others do not. Leaking or not leaking during pregnancy, is not any kind of indicator of how your breastfeeding journey will go.
Since you already have milk, perfect for your newborns needs, it will not “come in” But you can expect your milk to transition from Colostrum to more Mature Milk, between 3-5 days postpartum. While there is a transition period, your body is making the milk your newborn needs the first few days. Frequent feeding during those first days is normal, to fill baby’s tummy and to tell your body to send that mature milk.
If you are worried that your baby may not be getting enough, please reach out to a lactation professional for support.
You have to use cradle hold, it’s the “right” way.
Definitely not! There is no right or wrong position to feed your baby, as long as you are both comfortable. Try many positions or stick with one, whatever feels best to you!
Breastfeeding requires a certain diet.
For the most part, the only diet breastfeeding requires is actually eating. Eat if you are hungry, and don’t skip meals. Breastfeeding uses approximately 300-500 calories and your body needs that fuel! There are no foods you need to avoid, unless you find your baby is sensitive.
Some moms report that certain foods or galactagogues help their milk supply, but the research tells us that not all mothers respond in the same way. And it is always important to determine the root cause of any potential or perceived low supply, before taking action.
Regarding herbs or supplements, please consult with a lactation professional and speak with your Dr. before starting anything new.
What you express when pumping, is all the milk you make.
Breastpumps are amazing tools that allow parents to give their baby(s) breast milk, if they are away from them or struggle with or even choose not to latch them.
But ultimately pumps are not a baby, and they don’t always remove milk like a baby. The amount of milk a mom can pump is not necessarily and accurate indicator of her supply. Some mamas don’t respond well to pumps, and that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to make plenty of milk for their baby. There are some ways that you optimize your pumping: proper flange fit, customized settings, and hands on pumping can all help remove milk efficiently. You can tell if your baby is getting enough milk from you by watching for good amount of wet and dirty diapers, their weight gain and growth, and their cues.
If you are worried that your baby isn’t getting enough milk, please reach out for help. Every journey is different and with the help of a lactation support professional, you can reach your breastfeeding goals.
My mom, sister, or cousin struggled with breastfeeding, so I will too.
Breastfeeding success isn’t genetic. Just like pregnancy, your experiences will probably all be different! Birth stories, support, a baby’s personality, confidence levels, life situations….so many things can factor in to a breastfeeding journey. So please don’t think just because someone close to you struggled, means that you will. A small number of moms breastfeeding struggles are related to genetics, and if issues arise, they can be addressed and a plan can be made to meet whatever breastfeeding goals that mom has.
Did any of these things come as a surprise to you? Or are there other breastfeeding myths you would us to bust? Tell us in the comments or on our social media posts!