When I was pregnant, I received many pieces of advice on breastfeeding and the preparation involved. I was told, “You’ll need to toughen up those nipples!” “WHAT?” I have to push a human out of a tiny area of my body AND toughen up my nipples before he gets here? Is this what I signed up for? Here is a list of breastfeeding MYTHS!
MYTH # 1
“Breastfeeding Comes Naturally”
I have done it three times and while it becomes more familiar, it was never easy or natural in the beginning. It took me almost 8 weeks to actually be comfortable enough that I didn’t consider stopping every day. That is not a popular thing to share, but I feel this information could be very helpful to new Moms. If someone would have given me that piece of information, then I may have nursed my first son past 6 weeks. I was close, I just didn’t know it. It can be different for everyone but it was right around the 8-week mark for me before things started to become comfortable. Especially for first-time parents, taking a birthing and/or breastfeeding course (in many cases, offered through your local hospital) can be extremely informative and beneficial. Classes and books can offer breastfeeding techniques and other support to help you succeed.
“You Need to Toughen Up Your Nipples”
I was told to use everything from a dry towel to Brillo Pads (yes, Brillo Pads! Can you imagine?) I ignored all suggestions and things turned out just fine. According to drspock.com, “Many experts now agree that toughening the nipples in preparation for nursing is NOT necessary and may cause uterine contractions, resulting in stress for the baby. You should avoid use of soaps and other irritating or drying agents on your nipples during pregnancy and while you are nursing.” Give yourself a break and leave them be. They will soon be working harder than you realize.
“You Cannot Breastfeed With Flat or Inverted Nipples”
Women can still breastfeed with success, it just takes a little more effort with the use of breast shields or a massage technique. “The Hoffman Technique can help a Mother prevent unnecessary frustration with breastfeeding when the baby is born.” (drspock.com)