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BellaOnline's Breastfeeding Editor

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Common Breastfeeding Myths

Guest Author - Nicki Heskin

Test yourself on these commonly misunderstood breastfeeding issues or myths…true or false?

1. Interrupt breastfeeding and pump if the baby has vomiting or diarrhea.
2. Small Breasts Produce Less Milk Than Large Breasts.
3. It is ok for babies to just "use the mother as a pacifier."
4. If you get a nipple bleb/milk blister on nipple, you should open it gently with a sterilized pin.
5. Breasts may have lots of milk even if they don't feel "full."

-----------------------------

Here's the answers:

1. Interrupt breastfeeding and pump if the baby has vomiting or diarrhea.
FALSE
Vomiting may require nursing in smaller quantities at a time or waiting a bit after vomiting episodes to let baby's system settle. Diarrhea should have no effect on breastfeeding and breast milk may even be helpful. Be sure to watch that the baby stays hydrated. See my articles on Nursing a Sick Child and Breastfeeding and Dehydration.

7. Small Breasts Produce Less Milk than Large Breasts.
FALSE
Breast size is not in any way an indicator of milk production. If breast size increased during pregnancy (remember those sore breasts during first trimester?) that was the breasts preparing to make milk. Relative size between women means nothing.

8. It is ok for babies to just "use the mother as a pacifier."
TRUE
Non-nutritive sucking comforts the baby. As long as it's ok with the mom, it's fine. Comfort nursing may also stimulate additional letdowns and provide more milk. See my article on Comfort Nursing.

9. If you get a nipple bleb/milk blister on nipple, you should open it gently with a sterilized pin.
FALSE
Only a doctor would do this as a last resort. At home, try soaking with wet heat, or with olive oil on a cotton ball. Then express/nurse or gently peel skin layer off.

10. Breasts may have lots of milk even if they don't feel "full."
TRUE
After 10-12 weeks fullness decreases – this is normal. The mother can still usually tell relative fullness, but the full/empty sensation is much more subtle than the ballooning breasts of the early months.


References:
6. The Breastfeeding Answer Book, Mohrbacher and Stock, LLLI, pgs. 330-331, 334-335
7. The Breastfeeding Answer Book, Mohrbacher and Stock, LLLI, pg. 16
8. Counseling the Nursing Mother, Lauwers and Swisher, Jones and Bartlett, pg. 308
9. Breastfeeding Answer Book, 3rd, Mohrbacher, Stock, LLLI, pgs. 484-85
10.Breastfeeding Answer Book, 3rd, Mohrbacher, Stock, LLLI, pg. 36



Disclaimer: All material on the BellaOnline.com Breastfeeding website is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Although every effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information as of the date of publication, the author is neither a medical doctor, health practitioner, nor a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation. Information obtained from the Internet can never take the place of a personal consultation with a licensed health care provider, and neither the author nor BellaOnline.com assume any legal responsibility to update the information contained on this site or for any inaccurate or incorrect information contained on this site, and do not accept any responsibility for any decisions you may make as a result of the information contained on this site or in any referenced or linked materials written by others.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Nicki Heskin. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nicki Heskin. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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