7 Breastfeeding Myths: Setting The Record Straight
New moms-to-be can get a lot of advice from family, friends and complete strangers, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Unfortunately, there are myths about breastfeeding that can get passed around and that can have an impact on whether or not you decide to do it.
“Here at Providence OB/GYN, we believe that breastfeeding can be the best thing that you can do for your child,” says Lisa Wilson, a physician with Novant Health Providence OB/GYN. “But many of the breastfeeding myths can make it hard for pregnant women to tell if breastfeeding is the right option for them.”
Everyone has the right to make their own decision on breastfeeding, but we want to debunk some common myths so that you can make an informed decision.
Myth #1: Formula has more vitamins
Breast milk actually has more vitamins than formula. It provides all the nutrients that a baby needs. Breast milk also has the necessary antibodies needed to help build up your child’s immunity and keep them from getting sick.
Myth #2: If your breasts are too big or too small, you can’t breastfeed
Breasts of all shapes and sizes are able to breastfeed. Size does not play a role in whether or not you can produce enough milk for your child.
The only time the size of your breast can be an issue is when your child tries to latch on. But with enough practice, you can be breastfeeding in no time!
Myth #3: Breastfeeding your baby will impact their weight and IQ
This one is false as well.
Researchers had once claimed that babies who were breastfed had a lower risk of obesity and higher intelligence rates.
But all that changed when an Ohio State University study looked at families where one child was breastfed and the other was bottle fed. It found there was no advantage in one child over the other.
So if you decide to bottle feed your child, you can rest assured that you’re not damaging his or her future dreams of getting into Harvard!
Myth #4: Breastfeeding burns calories
You will be happy to know that this one is true.
Mamas who breastfeed can burn 300-500 calories more than those who don’t. But women who breastfeed need to consume more calories in order to produce milk, so you can’t completely rely on breastfeeding to help you shed your baby weight.
Make sure you’re staying active and healthy for your little one.
Myth #5: Breastfeeding makes your breasts sag
This is not true.
The appearance of your breasts change because of the pregnancy, not the breastfeeding. According to the Office of Women’s Health, pregnancy stretches the ligaments of your breast tissue, whether you breastfeed or not.
Myth #6: Breastfeeding is painful
Many women believe that breastfeeding will hurt, but if the baby is latching on properly then there shouldn’t be pain.
It’s important that while you’re in the hospital to talk with one of our lactation consultants about the proper way to get your baby to latch on so that it won’t be painful. We are always here for you to make sure everything is going right.
Myth #7: You won’t make enough milk to satisfy your baby
This is not true.
Women can produce enough milk to make sure they’re child is full. A newborn’s stomach is the size of a hazelnut, according to the Office of Women’s Health. You just have to remember to stay hydrated, eat healthily and continue to nurse often so that you continue to make milk for your little one.
Another thing to keep in mind is that breastfeeding is cheaper than buying formula at the store. That means you’ll have more money to buy toys for your baby!
No matter what, you have to make the decision that is right for you and your baby. Our doctors at Novant Health Providence OB/GYN will answer any questions you may have about breastfeeding. Please call our Providence office at 704-372-4000, our Steelecroft office at 704-384-7900 or our SouthPark office at 704-372-4000. We look forward to serving you and your baby during your pregnancy.