Breastfeeding is just one of those topics where lots of misinformation is spread through very well-intentioned advice and sometimes it’s hard to know what exactly to believe. In past newsletters, we have shared many of these myths about breastfeeding and we would like to share them with you again in a short and sweet 5 part blog series.
#4 It’s normal for breastfeeding to hurt.
At the very beginning most women will experience:
•some nipple tenderness since your nipples haven’t gotten much use before breastfeeding.
•a tug and pull as the baby first latches on.
Both of these discomforts should be temporary; we are talking days, not weeks.
What is not normal? If you have enough pain you are dreading breastfeeding, or have pain that lasts all the way through a feed, or pain that develops when there was no pain before, these are NOT normal. Don’t try to “tough it out”. Get some help to get beyond this kind of pain. Read more here.
#5 Baby shouldn’t use mom as a pacifier.
You are not a pacifier…you are a mom. Look at the definition of mothering and you will see words like: comfort, soothing, care, protect, nurture. This is what moms do. Isn’t it wonderful that we have this amazing ability to help our babies put their world back together when they’ve taken a fall or had a tantrum? Or soothe a baby who is feeling cranky?
If the “using mom as a pacifier” is really saying something like, “baby is nursing too often” or “too long”, then look at whether the baby is gaining well, is satisfied, has enough diapers and such. Young babies will naturally feed far more often than you might expect.
Don’t base your expectations on someone’s formula-fed baby or what your mom says you did. Breastmilk is so wonderfully digestible that it leaves the baby’s stomach rapidly. These frequent feeds are part of the process of providing your baby with his own, customized brain food.
#6 Women with flat or inverted nipples cannot breastfeed.
It may be a bit more challenging for a baby to learn to breastfeed if mom’s nipples are flat or inverted, and it’s a good idea to get some extra lactation help in the beginning. But babies learn to draw the nipple out and transfer milk from the breast. Nipples also change shape during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, so a nipple may not stay flat or inverted.