Whether you want it or not, breastfeeding advice is going to come your way. Some information may be ill advised and may be more of a myth than fact!
1. Small breasts produce less milk
MYTH: this is simply not true. The milk your breasts hold have nothing to do with the size of the breast but with the number of milk ducts a breast has. A larger breast does not have more milk ducts, compared with a smaller breast, just more fatty tissue.
2. A woman’s breasts will not produce enough breast milk for her newborn.
MYTH: a woman’s breast will produce thick milk-like substance called colostrum for the first few days post birth. This substance is essential for the well being of the newborn child and is enough to keep his belly satisfied. It is soon after that a woman’s milk supply will come-in.
3. Breastfeeding causes breasts to sag
FACT AND MYTH: this is partially true as there are a number of factors that cause a woman’s breasts to sag.
Age: As we age our skin loses its elasticity and its ability to bounce back. Women who get pregnant later in life can notice more breasts sag due to less elasticity in her skin.
The size of her bust: A woman with a larger bust may have more breast sag than a woman with a smaller bust. This is because of the weight the ligaments on a larger busted women holds is heavier. In time the ligaments will stretch.
Wearing bras that are not supportive: Ligaments hold up the breast tissue. If a woman is wearing an ill fitted bra or one that does not support her correctly the ligaments that hold up the breast tissue have to work much harder. Over time the ligaments will stretch and like an old rubber band they will not return to their normal state.
The increased weight and size a breast gains during pregnancy: During the first trimester of pregnancy our breasts can grow dramatically in size. Some women will experience an increase of up to 3 cups sizes. This adds a tremendous amount of weight on the ligaments.
Extended periods of breastfeeding: The longer we breastfeed for the more sag we can experience. This is due to the weight of the milk carried in the breast. After breastfeeding the breast returns to its regular size leaving extra skin and a potentially bottom heavy breast.
4. Breastfeeding helps with weight loss
FACT AND MYTH: a breastfeeding woman can burn up to 500 calories a day, which for some women helps in the aid of weight loss.
However, this is not always the case and some women find that the extra weight does not fall off until they have finished breastfeeding and for some it never goes away.
5. I can’t get pregnant when I am breastfeeding
FACT AND MYTH: technically this is true as breastfeeding prevents ovulation; this reduces your chances of getting pregnant. However, this is not always the case as there are a small percentage of women who have found themselves pregnant while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding should not be relied upon for a safe method of contraception.
6. Breastfeeding is painful
FACT AND MYTH: this is only partially true as not all women’s experiences are the same.
Most women will find the first few weeks of breastfeeding painful to some degree. Cracked nipples, the let down, incorrect latch and engorgement can all lead to discomfort. The good news is that this is often short lived. Hardened nipples, a regulated milk supply and a better breastfeeding techniques will help to eliminate any pain.
Related: The Wows and Woes of Breastfeeding
7. I don’t need to wear a nursing bra
MYTH: maternity and nursing bras have been specifically designed to nurture and support your changing bust.
When a woman is pregnant and or breastfeeding her breasts go through a tremendous amount of change; not only in size but structure too.
A maternity bra is designed using strong supportive fabrics, slings, padded straps, multiple hooks and eyes for adjustment, drop down cups for feeding and stretch in the top cup for fluctuation. All these features are designed to maximize support and comfort for the wearer.
Wearing a well-structured maternity or nursing bra during this time will help to reduce premature sagging and or ligament damage.
8. I need to stay hydrated
FACT: it is recommended that breastfeeding women drink a glass of water before and during breastfeeding times. Staying hydrated will help to aid in your milk production and avoid leaving you feeling lethargic and unwell.
9. Breastfeeding improves your baby’s IQ
FACT: research has indicated that there are direct links associated with babies who are breastfeed compared with formula feed babies.
Breastfed children on average scored 7 to 10 points higher in an IQ test than formula feed babies.
Breast milk has been proven to improve baby’s overall brain health and functional connectivity.
10. Breastfed babies should not be given a bottle
FACT AND MYTH: it is advised that breastfeed babies should not be given a bottle in the first few months. This is because the technique a baby uses to feed from the breast is very different to that from a bottle. Giving a baby a bottle early on will only confuse the baby.
Once baby is efficient as feeding from the breast it is ok to introduce a bottle should you want to pump breast milk?
11. Breastfed babies do not sleep through the night
FACT: formula fed babies will sleep longer. This is because formula is harder for the baby to digest keeping him satisfied for longer.
Breast milk is gentler on his stomach and is digested quicker. He will wake sooner to be fed.
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Like many women out there, Tracey Montford is an exceptional multi-tasker! Apart from steering a global business, managing 2 young boys & keeping the clan clean and fed, Tracey still finds time to provide creative inspiration and direction to the exceptional designs of Cake Maternity. From the branding, presentation and delivery, creativity is a big part of what Tracey does so naturally and effectively. Find out more at https://www.cakematernity.com or catch up with her on social @cakematernity.