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Get to the truth behind old wives’ tales surrounding breastfeeding.
1. Babies should be put at the breast immediately after birth
Not True: Studies show that babies who “self-attach” will run into fewer breastfeeding problems so there is no need for mothers to direct the baby to the breast at all. Instead, focus on learning about each other within minutes of birth. Skin-to-skin contact at this point between mother and baby keeps the baby warm and it’s totally fine if your baby doesn’t latch on immediately.
2. Breastfeeding hurts, it’s a norm
Not True: When breastfeeding hurts, the way in which we handle initial pain plays a huge role in determining it’s persistence. It is common for staff to recommend mothers to take the baby off and latch him on the breast again. The action of re-latching on the same breast makes the pain settle and worsens the pain and damage. If you feel pain, fix the latch on the other boob or at the next feeding to minimize action on the same nipple.
3. Expressing your milk helps gauge if you have enough milk
Not True: The amount of milk you express whether half an ounce or more should not influence you as different women react differently to the pump. Rest assured that most mothers have plenty of milk and the reason for babies not getting enough milk is the latching problem. A more successful gauge as to whether your baby has enough milk would be to monitor his bowel movements for frequency and quantity of waste.
4. Pumping eliminates alcohol from breast milk
Not True: The level of alcohol in your breast milk mirrors the blood alcohol level in your blood stream. Thus, pumping doesn’t rid the breast milk of alcohol, only time will. Your breast milk is all clear as soon as alcohol leaves the blood stream. Take heart, studies reveal that it is completely okay to have 1 t o 2 drinks which are not all that harmful to a nursing baby.
5. At 4 months, a baby needs more iron than breast miik provides.
Not True: Babies who are healthy and breastfed exclusively from day one get sufficient iron from breast milk. It is prudent to include other sources of iron in the diet through food by the age of 6 months. Skip the formula and baby cereal and opt to include iron rich meat in your little one’s diet instead.
Find more articles offering practical pregnancy, maternity and parenthood tips on our site. Here are some for ready reference:
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