Breastfeeding and pregnancy myths | beachbody blog

You’ve probably heard a lot of assumptions about breastfeeding:

“It’s the best way to deliver nutrients to your baby; it is the most natural way to feed your little one; it will wreak havoc on your nipples, or it will help you lose the baby weight.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and then at least partially for the next six months (since you can introduce solid foods at this point).

But “ultimately, each individual mother is uniquely qualified to decide whether breast-feeding, mixed feeding, or bottle feeding is ‘best’ for her individual situation,” said Alison Stuebe, MD, a leading scientist in infant and young child nutrition at the United Nations. Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, and associate professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

We’re not here to tell you what choices you should and shouldn’t make. But we’re here to make sure you’re accurately informed.

We’ve talked to experts so you can better decide what’s best for you

12 myths about breastfeeding

Mother breastfeeding baby in chair

Myth: Breastfeeding Helps You Lose Pregnancy Weight

Truth: Breastfeeding is doing burning calories; the American Pregnancy Association recommends consuming an additional 300-500 calories per day while breastfeeding.

But just because breastfeeding helps you burn more calories doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight, says Laura Gruber, an internationally certified lactation consultant, registered lactation consultant, and owner of Breastfeeding Housecalls.

“Nursing mothers tend to get hungrier, which means they can snack more to make up for those extra calories burned. The choice of whether to consume healthy or unhealthy snacks, and the amount a mother consumes, is what ultimately matters. some moms can float not to lose the pregnancy weight by breastfeeding alone,” Gruber says.

If you don’t know where to start, a guided feeding program can help — registered dietitian Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN created 2B Pregnant to help mothers thrive during pregnancy — and after the baby has arrived.

2. Myth: You Can’t Breastfeed If You Have Breast Implants

Truth: It’s safe for mothers and babies to breastfeed when mothers have implants, Alison Stuebe reassures.

But if you’ve had plastic surgery, it’s important to let your doctor know.

Why? Your natural breasts can affect how well you produce milk.

“If one breast was much smaller than the other, or if you had minimal breast tissue, you could be making less milk, so it’s important to work closely with your baby’s provider to monitor early weight gain so you and your baby off to a good start,” adds Stuebe.

If you have breast implants and plan to breastfeed, you may need to supplement to ensure your baby is getting enough to eat.

An overview and meta-analysis of three observational studies published in the International Breastfeeding Journal revealed that women with breast-fed breast implants were less likely to give their babies exclusively breast milk compared to women without breast implants.

Another study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery also reported that many women with breast implants had to supplement their breast milk.

3. Myth: You should use both breasts every time you feed

Truth: It’s a good idea to offer both, Gruber says.

“Sometimes babies lose strength and stamina at the breast because they are tired, but not necessarily full. They can get tired of sucking on a breast that doesn’t give as much as they need,” she explains.

Her recommendation: “Use your first breast until a baby loses strength or stamina, as this is the most accurate way to know if a healthy baby is filling up. Stop and burp him or her, then always offer the second breast just in case.” the baby has made room for more [after] to burp.”

If your baby doesn’t want the second breast, that’s fine.

Then you can start with the second breast at the next feed, as it will likely be fuller, she adds.

4. Myth: Modern formulas are almost the same as breast milk

Truth: Formula makers can market their product as if it were almost the same as the real thing.

“Breast milk is a living liquid. That’s not a formula’, says Stuebe.

To illustrate, scientists have found that breast milk contains immune and stem cells, as well as a bacterial community.

“Breast milk contains bacteria that colonize her baby’s gut and help the baby’s immune system grow. And while some formulas have added prebiotics and probiotics, they are fundamentally different from breast milk,” explains Stuebe.

5. Myth: Poor milk production is caused by an inadequate diet or maternal stress

Truth: “There are millions of women everywhere who live stressful lives and have poor nutrition, yet are able to produce perfect amounts of milk for their babies,” Gruber points out.

Low milk supply is generally caused by poor breastfeeding management (such as not feeding the baby often or taking a shallow bite), hormonal problems in the mother, or oral problems in the baby that would cause poor milk transfer, she explains. .

6. Myth: You Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol While Breastfeeding

Truth: This is definitely a myth!

“It takes about two hours for a single serving of alcohol (5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer, or 1.5 oz of spirits) to clear a woman’s bloodstream. When it clears her bloodstream, it also clears her milk,” explains Stuebe.

More alcohol takes longer to clear, so you may need to express and discard milk after you’ve had two or three servings.

Check out this handy map that Stuebe recommends.

7. Myth: Breastfeeding Should Hurt

Truth: “Breastfeeding can feel new and different, but it’s not supposed to hurt,” Gruber says.

With the exception of childbirth, pain is the body’s warning system when something is wrong, so nipples that hurt mean something is wrong and can be improved.

“Mothers who feel nipple pain, see or feel that their nipples are injured, or see deformed nipples when her baby is loosening should seek help,” she adds.

8. Myth: Breastfeeding drastically changes the shape and size of your body breasts

Truth: For starters, it’s important to understand that pregnancy changes your body, not breastfeeding.

your breasts will change — but only temporarily.

“Breastfeeding can drastically change the shape and size of a woman’s breasts, but only during certain breastfeeding seasons, such as when breast milk transitions from colostrum to mature milk,” Gruber says. “Breasts normally return to pre-pregnancy size and shape after a woman has finished breastfeeding.”

A study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal looked at the charts of 93 patients who sought consultation for aesthetic breast surgery and found that breastfeeding does not appear to have any adverse effect on breast appearance.

9. Myth: Breastfeeding is just bringing the milk to your baby

Mom and newborn in bed

Truth: Taking care of your baby is so much more than breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding is about fostering a biological bond between a mother, her child, and a mother can breastfeed her baby no matter how much milk she makes,” Stuebe says.

“Suckling a baby triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which can stimulate bonding and maternal behavior. A baby who is at the breast can hear the mother’s heartbeat and can focus its eyes on the mother’s face. ”

“Even mothers who don’t get 100 percent of their baby’s nutrition from their breasts can still provide them with breastfeeding, warmth and comfort. The infant nutrition source is just one of many hats that breasts wear when it comes to babies,” adds Gruber.

10. Myth: Smaller breasts may not be producing enough milk to feed the baby

Truth: Bra size isn’t a reliable predictor of milk production, but some breasts produce better than others, Stuebe says.

OK, quick biology lesson from Stuebe: An adult woman’s breasts are made up of both adipose tissue and milk-producing glandular tissue.

One woman may have small breasts that are full of glandular tissue (great for milk production), while another may have very large breasts made up mostly of fatty tissue (not that big).

And shape matters, too — widely spaced or cone-shaped breasts may be associated with low milk production, Stuebe adds.

“It’s not easy to predict milk production based on breast size, so it’s important for all mothers and babies to see a pediatrician three to five days after birth to monitor breastfeeding progress,” Stuebe says.

11. Myth: You Can’t Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding

Truth: We don’t know who started this rumor, but breastfeeding is definitely not a form of birth control.

“You can definitely get pregnant while breastfeeding,” Gruber says.

Frequent nursing is doing prevent ovulation. But if you’re expressing and using bottles, or if your baby doesn’t want to eat often, you’ll have more time between breast feedings than a mother who breastfeeds every few hours.

“This pause can cause a mother to ovulate sooner… boosting the mother’s fertility, even if that mother hasn’t had her first period after giving birth,” Gruber explains.

If you want to avoid pregnancy, talk to your doctor about birth control options.

Some birth control options can reduce your milk supply, so talk to your doctor about which options won’t affect them.

But can birth control affect the quality of your milk?

Research draws mixed conclusions; one review revealed a negative effect on breast milk composition in mothers using birth control, while another study showed greater weight gain in babies whose mothers had an etonogestrel implant.

An article published in Clinical and Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the choice and timing of birth control — with non-hormonal methods being the “preferred choice” — can influence breast and infant growth patterns.

12. Myth: The longer you breastfeed, the healthier your baby will be in adolescence

Truth: This one is a bit more complicated.

“There is compelling evidence that, at a population level, longer breastfeeding is associated with better health,” Stuebe says.

A study analysis published in Nutrition for mothers and childrenStuebe was part of found that for every 597 women who breastfeed optimally, one maternal or infant death is prevented.

But that’s at the population level.

“For an individual mother and her child, there are a lot of things that contribute to the health of her child in adolescence, of which breastfeeding is just one,” Stuebe adds.

If breastfeeding is extremely difficult for that mother and baby, the struggle to make it work may not be worth it.

It comes down to

Talk openly with your doctor to explore all of your options to find out what works best for you and your baby.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.