Breastfeeding Myths

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about breastfeeding myths and dispelling them. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!
 


I remember being ready to stand my defense on breastfeeding my child. How sad we have become a nation on defending our bodies on why we want to breastfeed, but also the negative talk about it. I realize breastfeeding does not come easy at first. It is a part-time job in the beginning and that was a surprise to me. I had dreams of organizing my condo, taking pictures, creating a photo album, HA! Someone slap that girl back then, but the reality is, what no one tells you while you are in the hospital and those hospital breastfeeding basics class doesn’t really full prepare you nor do they tell you the physiology of your baby and how it all really works. I am here to tell you a few basic things I learned and the info you need to prepare yourself when you start breastfeeding, the patience involved and to tell those doctors to leave you the heck alone! As my background is in public health, I am going to throw a few statistics at you:

According to the CDC:
75% of moms breastfeed at some point during the infancy
44% are still being breastfed by six months of age
24% are still being breastfed by the age of one
35% of babies are exclusively breastfed at three months

What do these numbers mean? It means most moms realize that “breast is best” and make attempts to breastfeed their child. You can see the drop off of being exclusively breastfed after many moms return to work. Those are a different set of challenges for another post, but we have also been convinced that formula is just fine and it is more convenient. Something we have been doing for thousands of years, all of sudden we “not producing enough” or “my milk supply never came in at the hospital” or “I was told I was starving my baby.”

Here is what you need to know about your baby:
1. Your baby’s stomach is the size of a marble when they first arrive. That is equivalent to one teaspoon. (yes go get your measuring spoon out to see this visual). Research shows your baby’s stomach will not stretch to hold more in their first few days of life. Babies will often spit up if any excess food is given to them.
2. By day three, their stomachs are the size of a shooter marble. This measures to .75 – 1 oz of food. One ounce is equivalent to 2 Tablespoons. (yes go put 2 Tbl of water in a cup to see this visual)
3. By day seven, your baby’s stomach is the size of a ping pong ball. Continue to nurse on demand ensures your baby will grow and your supply will increase. It is the law of “supply and demand” in the breastfeeding world.
4. Growth spurts, they happen by the 3’s. Three days, six days, three weeks, six weeks, three months and six months. When these growth spurts happen, nurse, nurse, nurse! When you supplement because you think you are not producing enough, your body thinks it does not need the supply so it will indeed slow production down. Remember, supply and demand (or I should say, demand and supply!)

Now let’s give you some fun facts about your breasts and debunk a few myths along the way:

1. Your breasts are full of colostrum before your baby is born. This first food for your baby is vital for them, even if you decide or can’t nurse due to medical reasons, this is going to be the best thing you can do for your baby. Colostrum is your baby’s perfect food designed for them by your body and measures exactly one teaspoon (see tip one above, how cool is that?!). The benefits outweighs everything. Here is a great explanation on what colostrum is by The La Leche League.
2. Your body does produce enough food for your baby after birth. Doctors and nurses will often scare new moms that they are not producing enough to nourish their babies and send home formula. This hinders your ability to produce more. The more the baby latches and sucks, the more you produce.
3. It does take a few days for your supply to come in completely. A tad longer if you had a c-birth. The more you let your baby attach and suck, the quicker your supply will come in. And yes your baby may lose a few ounces, even a pound that is normal. But once your supply comes in, watch out!
4. The bigger your breasts the more your produce. Some people look at someone has been “blessed” by big breasts and automatically think, you must be a good producer. That is far from the truth. I’ve heard of many smaller breasted women who produce like a champ and donate their extra because they produced so well.
5. Your ability to produce milk is based on adequate hydration and good nutritional nourishment. Drink filtered water, in fact drink half of your body weight in ounces to make sure you are well hydrated. Also eat good fats like avocados and a couple of Tablespoons of coconut oil daily to make your milk nice and rich for your baby. There are benefits for mom too!
6. Pumping is not a good measure of how much you are producing. Those machines are not as good as emptying the breast as your power-sucking baby. Don’t get discouraged if you pump and you get only an ounce. I have often learned that the more water I consumed the more I got when I pumped, but not a good indicator of what you are producing. Let thy baby nurse.

Some hard truths:
1. Yes your nipples will be sore when you first nurse, your nipples have never been handled like that before and it can be rough and tough in the beginning. Some babies latch with ease while others need some coaching. I was told that c-section babies jaw does not mold as vaginal babies do through the birth canal. So if your baby was air-lifted out like mine were, you may need help adjusting that latch. My babies did and they also saw my chiropractor and a cranial-sacrial therapist to work on moving the plates in the mouth or a simple adjustment, which helped a lot with my first baby.
2. As much as I don’t like saying it, don’t rely on the nurses or doctors in the hospital to help with your breastfeeding journey, they will often hinder it than help. If the hospital does not offer lactation services, talk to your insurance company before going to the hospital and have one ready to help get your started.
3. Learn to trust your instincts when it comes to breastfeeding. We are losing our ability to let Mother Nature do what she’s been doing for thousands of years. If you feel you are not producing enough, talk to your lactation consultant first who can come in and weigh your baby before and after you breastfeed to actually determine if you are or not. They can also talk to you on natural ways to product more if hydration and diet is not working well for you.

I commend you on your breastfeeding journey. Every time I was ready to give up, I would say just one more month and got through it. Then again just one more month. Each child is different and even your own children are different. I had one baby who took a bottle after a month, my second never took a bottle. I also learned more and nursed longer the second time around because I learned to trust my inner wisdom and trust my baby was getting enough. I hope you find these tips helpful and please share the wisdom!

For some more info on pregnancy and beyond, check out a couple of my breastfeeding articles:

Power Foods for Better Breastfeeding
My review on Melinda G Nursing Bra

CRAVECHICAGO_healthyJasmine_ABP-1292Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT is fitness, wellness and health expert on women’s and children’s health. She is the Creator of Snack Smart Solutions Snack App helping people snack smarter and healthier. Jasmine works with families to help recognize and understand how food sensitivities affect our overall health and wellbeing. She in fact got off her meds by changing her diet and living a holistic lifestyle before she got pregnant with her first child. Her own births have humbled her in accepting modern medicine and realizes there is a time and place for modern medicine. However, chooses to live a healthy and alternate lifestyle that is not threatening to everyday people. She welcomes change and empowers moms to be true healthcare advocates for their families by informing them that healthcare reform begins in your grocery cart and modern medicine is not needed for every single illness and disease. You can find her on her @HealthyJasmine on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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2 Comments

Filed under Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival

2 responses to “Breastfeeding Myths

  1. Pingback: Mimi Faust Shows off Breast Implants, Reveals She Breastfed Her Daughter for 3 Years |

  2. Great review of breastfeeding myths. It’s amazing how these things are propagated in our society. So many of them are just blatantly untrue!

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