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Friday, July 22, 2011

Lies Told To Nursing Moms and Lies Nursing Moms Tell


My milk took 3 days to come in and colostrum wasn't enough because he lost some weight:

Milk normally takes quite a few days to some in. Colostrum usually is only a few tablespoons because baby's stomach is the size of a marble and colostrum has WAY more fat, calories and nutrients than regular breastmilk and formula. So, colostrum IS way more than enough for baby for a good bit. If you had fluids through the IV during labor, chances are baby will lose a bit more weight after birth than if you didn't...pair that with normal weight loss, you may think you need to supplement. However, what you really need to do is nurse more. The more you nurse, the more you make. Simple. The second you supplement with formula is the second you told your breast to stop making as much milk. The more you nurse, the faster your milk will come in. Just remember, colostrum DOES have more fat, calories and nutrients than why would you want to supplement and baby's stomach is the size of a MARBLE regardless of how big they were at why would you think they need a whole bottle of formula or a whole bottle of pumped breastmilk?

My milk didn't come in so I was told to supplement:

Unless it has been a week+ and baby is getting nothing out(meaning you don't hear him swallowing and he is not making any wet or poopy diapers), then, you shouldn't give formula and assume you haven't got milk. You should from birth be nursing on demand. Which may be VERY often. Baby should increase the amount of wet and poopy diapers daily up to at least 6-8 even somewhat wet daily. Baby should seem content after each feed. Baby should gain weight by each check up(meaning, baby should follow his own curve of growth).

My baby eats a lot, I must not have enough to feed him:

This falls back to the first myth...if baby IS satisfied after his feed and IS gaining weight and IS wetting/dirtying diapers, rest assured, he is getting exactly what he needs. Eating frequently is what babies do. Breastmilk digests well and growing babies eat small amounts often. Growth spurts also cause babies to eat more often. Even if baby is nonstop nursing at the breast, it doesn't mean he isn't getting full or you aren't making enough. He may be having a growth spurt, teething, feels sick...anything.

My baby was big, I couldn't keep up:

This is the craziest. Even the 16lb baby doesn't need 4oz+ in a sitting. Look at your baby's fist...their stomach in no bigger than that fist. I am grown and my hand cannot hold more than 4oz. Your baby is born with a stomach the size of a marble...even if they are huge. The stomach grows to shooter marble size after a week or two. then, it finally gets to fist is supposed to STAY FIST SIZED for life. You stomach should never become bigger than your fist.

Many women do not produce enough:

NOT TRUE! Most women not only make enough, they make TOO much. Only a TINY few truly cannot make enough. The problem is NOT that mom isn't making enough, it is that baby isn't getting out what mom has. This could be from a poor latch, a tongue-tie or any number of reasons. That is why mom's need someone to show how to properly latch baby on from the first feed on the first day.

Pumping will give you a good indication of how much you are making:

It is a well known fact that babies can get out WAY more milk than ANY pump can. Not only that, but, most women don't respond well to the pump. Most women can get .5-2oz MAX per pumping session. Some women can pump loads, but, the output will NEVER equal what is truly coming out when baby feeds.

I will be tied down to baby if I breastfeed:

Actually, baby can be nursed about anywhere. You don't have to warm the milk up or carry a bag to hold it all or wash bottles, make formula, store pre-made bottles...only need you and baby. Bottle feeding requires you to carry a lot of stuff if you are going to be gone all day or weekend.

My breast stopped feeling full, so I needed to switch to formula:

Breasts don't ever have to feel full. That is NEVER a good indicator of milk production. It only means that your body is regulating your milk production properly. Even if they have felt full and suddenly stopped, it's ok as long as baby is still growing and wetting enough diapers.

My child refused to latch, he didn't like the breast:

Chances are if baby's latch is bad, you can work to help him learn to do it properly by changing positions, using a shield or consulting an IBCLC. Now, baby could have a tongue tie or lip tie that needs diagnosed or it may even be a posterior one that is harder to diagnose and getting it clipped may be the trick. Or baby could have a lazy latch and needs practice...any number of things. Sometimes, it can be fixed. cannot.


  1. We've all been told that our stomachs are as big as our fists. AT least I'm pretty sure we've all been told this. But I think most people have forgotten it, especially in a society like the American society where we are so accustomed to over-eating. Which probably contributes to thinking a baby needs more than they actually do.

    And even those who remember this and put it into practice themselves tend to forget it when it comes to baby.

  2. I agree that most of these are myths, but I wanted to question whether 'Many women do not produce enough' is really a myth.

    I've been trying to get accurate figures on this for a while now - lots of people seem to have an opinion on this, but no-one seems to have a reference to any hard evidence. (If you have one, I'd be really pleased to hear it.) And I suspect there may not even *be* any firm figures, because, in the nature of things, it's so difficult to find out which women actually do have insufficient milk-producing ability as opposed to which women have been following bad advice that led to their supply being insufficient. But the figures I see coming up a lot are 2% and 5%.

    Now, either of those is a small percentage, but either of them still account for a lot of women overall once you start multiplying that by the millions of mothers in any given country. So, while most women are certainly capable of producing enough milk, I would have to agree from what I've read that there are still many women that can't.

    Maybe you have better figures that you could give me? Thanks in advance if so.

    1. I also think that what you can run into is that women will say this so that "breastfeeding evangelists" (my personal term for people that believe if you don't breastfeed you are going to hell)won't get mad at them. Because most people will give a free pass to women who medically can't, but won't necessarily give them a free pass if its for other reasons. Not to mention if that is compounded with poor advice then suddenly you have millions of women who "can't produce enough" in the USA. If you are interested in real had facts you might look at the WHO website on breastfeeding rates in other countries and then sort of average it together (specifically 3rd world countries with less availability to formula)~just a thought, I've never actually done it but I would think they would keep stats on things like that.

  3. Honestly, I don't have a super accurate number count. I just happen to know there are SO many getting really bad advice from the get-go that I know didn't have the opportunity to see if they in fact could nurse properly or truly had an issue. therefore, I chose to leave out an exact amount. I just want women to at least try their damndest with the accurate advice before giving in to formula and feeling defeated. I do know women with IGT that have nursed kids...that is telling when I know that IGT it would be next to nil milk being produced. I figure if those can do it with lots of work, then, someone that has ok breasts and normal milk normally make more than enough to the point they need to express or pump or nurse a lot to counteract. It's just that they don't "get" the mechanics of nursing and think they aren't producing enough. I for one was one of those mom's.
    When my son nursed 20minutes on one side, I tried to burp then moved him to the other side where he nursed for another 20.(when I say nursed, I assume it was nursing, he may have been comfort nursing, again I had no clue) We did this for 2 hours. He fell asleep for about 30 minutes and was back up again screaming and it started over. I decided that either I didn't make enough or it wasn't satisfying. So, I gave in and gave him formula. He drank 8 oz and was content and then slept for 4 hours. "THAT" was my clue that he needed formula and I "didn't make enough." Which was wrong...I actually did, I just didn't get how it was supposed to work.

  4. Oh, for everyone to know, hear, and support this. It is so hard to keep it all in your head in the moment, mom's really need this message to be loud and clear their whole lives so that when the time comes, there is less chance they will doubt their bodies and their babies. I in no way deny support to women who need to supplement, but if our culture was more about what our bodies ARE capable or rather than what they might not be able to do, then I think more women would have a happy, successful breastfeeding relationship.