~ This is a guest post written by Melissa Alexander, author of Teen Toddler Newborn. ~
Everyone has different reasons for choosing to breastfeed their new baby.
Personally, I believe a lot of new moms decide not to breastfeed because they are misinformed. As mothers we talk to one another about our experiences and many times we hear “horror stories” that help us make bad decisions.
I thought this would be a great topic to open some discussion about old wives tales and urban myths surrounding breastfeeding.
Nope, twisting, pinching, pulling, scrubbing and flicking them will not make it less painful when you start to nurse. It will however, make them hurt while you are doing it.
NO, NO. NO! There are always ways to increase your milk supply. You could also use donor milk. There are options other than formula. For the most part breastfeeding is a system of supply and demand. The more you nurse or pump, or both, the more your body knows it needs to produce. If you feel baby is not getting enough, feed him more often and your supply will adjust.
Supplementing could actually result in less milk production because your body thinks it is making enough milk.
Our bodies change in so many ways throughout life in general. Just like stretchmarks, the elasticity and firmness of your breasts and their changes have more to do with genetics and self care than anything else. Yes your skin will stretch to accommodate milk and increase and decrease in size with pregnancy. While breastfeeding can change your breasts, it is not the sole reason for sagging. I know women who have never had children with saggy breasts and women who have breastfed babies with perky breasts that make me jealous. Wear a supportive bra and take care of yourself. Are saggy breasts really a good reason to keep your baby from having the best food available?
Absolutely not true! Many moms do it! It takes some persistence and you need to have a good stockpile before returning to work full time but it can definitely be done! You need a good pump, good support system and open communication with your supervisors and peers at work. Know your rights as a pumping employee! There are now laws in place protecting pumping moms. These laws require employers to provide a sanitary, private place to pump and adequate break times as well.
The fact is, for some it does come naturally and is a pleasurable experience. That is not true for everyone. For some it is painful at first (It does get better). It is a learning experience for both you and baby! Even if you have breastfed a baby before, each baby is going to learn at their own pace. Be patient! I spent the first month or 2 wondering why it wasn’t like I expected. I would rock a screaming baby for 30 minutes until she got the hang of it. You may get cracked nipples and they may even bleed a little. This is NORMAL! It is all part of a fantastic journey. The bond you come away with is worth every second.
There is no special diet! As for alcohol and caffeine, all things in moderation. I plan on writing a whole post dedicated to drinking alcohol while nursing. It can be done safely! You don’t always have to “pump and dump”. Do your research, know your limits, know your body, be responsible! If you don’t think you can drive, don’t nurse!
Spicy foods, broccoli and other potentially tummy-irritating foods are on a case by case basis. Some babies tolerate these things better than others. It is a process of trail and error! If you are eating what you want and getting healthy nutrients, including prenatal vitamins, with no ill effects from baby then you are doing great!
Hogwash! The baby’s bottom teeth are covered by their tongue while nursing and top teeth are not even an issue. Both of my girls got their first teeth around 4 months old. They nursed 14 months and 18 months. There will be some experimenting and testing boundaries as they nip occasionally to test you. This only presents another teaching opportunity!
Yes you can. You must remove the piercing prior to nursing as it poses a hazard. There may be changes to the flow of your milk, increasing and decreasing it. If there is some scar tissue issues the flow could be decreased. It may take a little more practice than most but can definitely be done depending on your situation.
Most likely not the case. The following are NOT signs of low supply: Crying after feeding, boobs not feeling full, baby being fussy, not pumping much, not feeling a letdown and baby constantly feeding. These could mean many other things! If your baby is gaining weight, having regular wet and soiled diapers you are most likely producing plenty! If you are truly concerned have your child’s pediatrician check his weight and discuss your concerns. Be aware that many pediatricians are not trained to address breastfeeding concerned and may be prone to advise formula supplementation. If you are not comfortable or satisfied with their advice you have the right to look for another doctor!
Unfortunately, one of the most important things you need is support and it may not be readily available. You may need to do some searching to find other supporter but WE are out there!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/329311390482381/ (Badass Breastfeeders group)
Melissa is the owner of the blog Teen Toddler Newborn. She has breastfed 3 babies for a total of more than 3 years and counting. She lives and works part time in Arizona.
© 2013, Dee @ Bella Savvy. All rights reserved.