Myth: There is no way to know if the baby is getting enough milk.
Fact: There are several ways to know if baby is getting enough milk at the breast: Swallowing is heard, the baby is relaxed after feeding, it has adequate wet and soiled diapers and adequate weight gain. After breastfeeding, a baby should act satisfied and not continue to exhibit feeding cues or mouthing motions that typically indicate hunger.
Myth: Moms don't make enough breast milk.
Fact: Moms who breastfeed regularly and frequently will supply enough milk, assuming the baby latches on properly. Milk supply may decrease if milk isn't being removed from the breast. If it's not removed, it's not going to be replenished. Sometimes medical conditions do affect milk production. Contact a lactation consultant for more information.
Myth: Modern formulas are the same as breastmilk.Fact: Modern formulas are very different from breastmilk. Breastmilk is made specifically for human babies, and therefore is the most easily digested and the nutrients are readily absorbed. Formulas are made from cows milk and plant derivatives and do not contain the immunologic properties that protect babies from infection.
Myth: Breastfeeding is painful.Fact: Breastfeeding can be painful if baby is not latching on properly. The baby's nose should be aligned with the nipple so when baby opens his or her mouth wide, the nipple goes to the roof of the baby's mouth. If it is painful to breastfeed, contact a lactation consultant.
Myth: Moms who have infections should stop breastfeeding.Fact: Mothers do not need to stop breastfeeding with most infections. In fact, breastfeeding while mom is sick provides babies with extra protective immunities specific to that infection. Seek advice from a lactation consultant if there is any question.
Myth: Moms on medication cannot breastfeed.Fact: Most medications are compatible with breastfeeding, especially if it is safe to take during pregnancy. There are some medications that should not be taken, but often there are others that can be substituted. Seek advice from a certified lactation consultant or physician to determine safety.
Myth: Mothers must wash their nipples before breastfeeding.Fact: Mothers do not need to wash their nipples prior to breastfeeding because doing so can remove the beneficial oils that are secreted from Montgomery glands. The Montgomery glands are small pimple-like structures around the areola that produce oil that lubricates the areola and nipple and discourages bacterial growth. Daily rinsing with warm water while bathing is sufficient.
Sources: Carlie Lesley, lactation consultant, Nebraska Medical Center; Sue Hall, lactation consultant, Methodist Woman's Hospital