Myth #1. BREASTFEEDING JUST COMES NATURALLY TO MOMS.
No! While often (but not always) instinctive to babies, breastfeeding is no more instinctive to moms than barbecuing is to dads. It is learned behavior and gets easier with guidance and practice.
Myth #2. Everybody HAS pain in the first weeks of breastfeeding.
No! Pain is common but ALWAYS a sign that something is wrong, can often be prevented, and once the cause is determined can usually be eliminated. Suffering is not part of breastfeeding. If you are having pain, please get help!
Myth #3. “Never wake a sleeping baby.”
No! Newborns are notoriously sleepy and in the first days of life it is not unusual for them to sleep through a feeding, seem “too sleepy to eat” or fall asleep before they actually get enough to eat. If and when to wake them will depend on many factors and should be discussed with your pediatrician.
Myth #4. It is important to get your newborn on a feeding schedule.
No! While some babies settle into patterns early, it is more likely that they will want to be fed in a range of hours, like every 1-3 hours, but often more frequently at first. The trick is to recognize hunger and satiation cues, know when the baby is actually swallowing milk and know the “red flags” to watch for.
There is a lot of new research about breastfeeding that helps new parents avoid the pitfalls that caused many of their parents and friends to quit breastfeeding. Taking a breastfeeding class and/or getting professional help during pregnancy or soon after the baby arrives can help prevent or reverse these pitfalls.
Cherie Zappas Tannenbaum, NP, IBCLC, August 17, 2021