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Breastfeeding Myths

Just a few myths that I have come across this week... There are many more out there! #breastfeedingmyths #breastfeeding #ibclc

Most people do not produce enough milk...

False - Almost all parents produce the right amount of milk for their babies.

Breastmilk production is determined by how well the baby is latched on to the breast, the frequency of breastfeeding and how well the baby is removing milk.

Most babies that gain too slowly, or lose weight, do so not because the parent does not have enough milk, but because the baby does not get the milk that the parent has.

The most common reason for this is less than ideal position and attachment.

If you find yourself in this situation seek skilled support :)


Pumping is a good way of knowing how much milk you have

Nope - Pumping only tells you how much you can pump, not how much milk you have.

A baby who breastfeeds well can get much more milk from the breast than a pump can.


Pain is normal and should be expected.

Hard no! In the first few days you may feel tender, but this should be temporary.

Pain is a sign something is not quite right and should never be expected. If you are dreading your next feed, find someone who can help you. Most of the time a change in position and attachment can help.


You need to give your breasts time to fill up between feeds

Actually... Your breasts continually make milk and are never ‘empty’

In fact, research tells us that the emptier the breast, the faster the breast makes milk.

So, when your baby removes a large amount of milk from the breast, milk production will speed up in response. Winner!


You need to eat specific foods to make more milk

I mean, always eat the cookie (obviously, cookies are yummy) but...

There is nothing specific you need to eat or drink, or even avoid. If you are concerned about a low supply then seek skilled support. Find the root cause of the problem and work on it, don't rely on a cookie or tea to solve a supply issue, the problem will still be there after you've eaten the cookie.

You should obviously try and eat a well rounded, balanced diet but then we all should, feeding or not!


Breastfeeding an older baby or child is pointless

Well... The health effects of breastfeeding don't stop or decline as a baby gets older, they continue for both parent and baby for the entire journey. Check this out...

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:

  • 29% of energy requirements

  • 43% of protein requirements

  • 36% of calcium requirements

  • 75% of vitamin A requirements

  • 76% of folate requirements

  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements

  • 60% of vitamin C requirements

— Dewey 2001

Some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. Great for children in childcare settings where there are many, many bugs about.

But what about me?!

Reduces risk of breast, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and endometrial cancer.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis

Not to mention the superpower of being able to solve 99.9% of your child's problems. Something I miss dreadfully the older my own children get!

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