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Sunday, December 13, 2009

MYTHs of Breastfeeding

I love the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institutes handouts that are available on their site at I direct new moms to the Clinic's website for information about breastfeeding almost daily.

This is one of my favourite articles/handouts written by the NBCI staff- one that EVERY expecting parent should read Before baby arrives..... and one that every medical professional that works in Obstetrics, Maternity Care and Paediatrics should be forced to memorize before being allowed anywhere near a new mom and her boobie baby.

The handout is 4 pages long, and full of brilliant information about breastfeeding, answers some of the biggest worries of new moms and puts the boot to some of the worst Breastfeeding myths that for some reason seem to circle around the media, moms groups, and doctors offices endlessly . So put an end to the old wives tales and pass this vital information around!!

Here are a few of my personal favs:

1. Many women do not produce enough milk. Not true! The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk. Indeed, an overabundance of milk is common. Most babies that gain too slowly, or lose weight, do so not because the mother does not have enough milk, but because the baby does not get the milk that the mother has. The usual reason that the baby does not get the milk that is available is that he is poorly latched onto the breast. This is why it is so important that the mother be shown, on the first day, how to latch a baby on properly, by someone who knows what they are doing.

11. Women with small breasts produce less milk than those with large breasts. Nonsense!

12. If the baby is off the breast for a few days (weeks), the mother should not restart breastfeeding because the milk sours. Not true! The milk is as good as it ever was. Breastmilk in the breast is not milk or formula in a bottle.

5. Formula company literature and formula samples do not influence how long a mother breastfeeds. Really? So why do the formula companies work so hard to make sure that new mothers are given these samples, their company's samples? Are these samples and the literature given out to encourage breastfeeding? Do formula companies take on the cost of the samples and booklets so that mothers will be encouraged to breastfeed longer? The companies often argue that, if the mother does give formula, they want the mother to use their brand. But in competing with each other, the formula companies also compete with breastfeeding. Did you believe that argument when the cigarette companies used it?

9. There is no such thing as nipple confusion. Not true! The baby is not confused, though, the baby knows exactly what he wants. A baby who is getting slow flow from the breast and then gets rapid flow from a bottle will figure that one out pretty quickly. A baby who has had only the breast for three or four months is unlikely to take the bottle. Some babies prefer the right or left breast to the other. Bottle fed babies often prefer one artificial nipple to another. So there is such a thing as preferring one nipple to another. The only question is how quickly it can occur. Given the right set of circumstances, the preference can occur after one or two bottles. The baby having difficulties latching on may never have had an artificial nipple, but the introduction of an artificial nipple rarely improves the situation, and often makes it much worse. Note that many who say there is no such thing as nipple confusion also advise the mother to start a bottle early so that the baby will not refuse it.

HERE to read the Handout