The 7 Worst Breastfeeding Tips
The worst breastfeeding tips survive despite the information that's available and medical evidence to the contrary. Keep reading!
The process of breastfeeding a child shouldn’t be a troublesome thing. The best thing is for mothers to take it as something natural and to disregard those bad breastfeeding tips that only sow doubts in this precious moment. With that in mind, in the following article, we’re going to remind you of the worst breastfeeding tips you may hear but that you must ignore if you are breastfeeding. And we’ll explain why!
What are the worst breastfeeding tips?
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, you receive wrong advice or hear unfortunate phrases regarding breastfeeding. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to take a closer look at some of them to avoid certain inconveniences.
1. Your nipples are small, prepare them so they don’t hurt
Having small, flat, or inverted nipples isn’t a cause of pain when breastfeeding. It’s normal to feel discomfort in the first days of breastfeeding, but this has nothing to do with the size or shape of your nipples. Sometimes it’s due to poor positioning of the baby, long and spread-out feedings, or medical conditions such as cracks or infections. In these cases, you should consult a professional.
2. Make sure your baby latches on well to the breast or you’ll run out of milk
This myth is one of the worst you’ll hear, as it has a psychological component that stresses moms out quite a bit. There are situations in which the baby doesn’t latch on correctly, not because of lack of milk, but because of the so-called “infant rejection”.
According to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, this situation can occur, among other things, when the following happens:
- The baby has some kind of oral aversion due to a previous bad experience (probes or aspirations, among others).
- Due to a change of routines at home. It may be due to going back to work, taking a trip, or the arrival of visitors, among others.
- Changes in the mother’s odor. These can occur, for example, due to the use of different soaps or perfumes.
3. Don’t give your baby formula because they’ll get sick more often
Undoubtedly, breast milk is the best food for children and protects them from many diseases, but this doesn’t mean that formula milk doesn’t offer protection or that it’s not efficient in the nutrition of babies.
Certain medical or personal conditions may lead a mom to have to opt for formulas that are a great alternative. Their composition contains vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They even have certain elements that need to be given to infants in supplements when they breastfeed exclusively, such as iron or fluoride.
4. You should wean your baby at six months
One of the most common pieces of bad breastfeeding advice is that you should stop breastfeeding your child at six months of age. The World Health Organization’s suggestion is that breastfeeding should be exclusive for up to six months and then supplemented with age-appropriate foods and medical advice. Breastfeeding can be extended up to two years of life or even longer.
5. You have to breastfeed every 3 hours, even if you have to wake your baby up
This is also one of the worst breastfeeding tips that mothers may hear. Can you imagine being woken up every three hours? How would you react?
Babies drink from the breast until they’re full, and then, in general, they fall asleep for a few hours. If your baby doesn’t wake up, it means that they’re satisfied and comfortable, therefore, there’s no need to wake them up.
Take advantage of the moments when your baby sleeps to rest, and when they wake up, dedicate all the time they need to feed.
6. Don’t breastfeed on demand, as this will only spoil your baby
Breastfeeding on demand is a biological issue. Breast milk is produced by the baby’s sucking stimulation. Consequently, restricting feedings will only lead you to produce less and less milk. What’s the benefit of this? None.
Giving your baby the milk they need isn’t spoiling them, but feeding them properly and accompanying their growth.
7. Look for a wet nurse, because your breasts are too small to produce milk
If you have small breasts, it means that you have little fatty tissue, and this has nothing to do with the ability of your mammary glands to produce milk.
The breasts are composed of glandular tissue, which is involved in the creation of milk, fatty tissue, and connective tissue support. The size of your breasts depends on the amount of fat, not glandular tissue.
At the same time, as explained in the article 14 myths about breastfeeding, by UNICEF:
“Breastmilk production is determined by how well the baby is latched on to the breast, the frequency of breastfeeding and how well the baby is removing milk with each feeding”.
In conclusion, breast size is an irrelevant issue for breastfeeding.
Bad breastfeeding advice, don’t listen!
These are the worst pieces of advice you’re probably going to hear, but they’re not the only ones you’ll come across. There are many others that make their way around and that persist over time despite educational campaigns and the information that we now know about breastfeeding.
But, just as there are bad breastfeeding tips, there are also good ones, and the best thing is that, if you have any doubts, always consult a trusted medical professional.
Remember that breastfeeding is beneficial for the child, for the mother, and even for society, as breastfeeding is a great investment in health.
“Breastfeeding protects the mother from diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and postpartum depression”.
– UNICEF –