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Myths of Breastfeeding in Early Days Postpartum
Misinformation Hampering the Initiation of Nursing
- Mar 10, 2009
- Barbara Higham
This is an examination of a few myths of breastfeeding in the early days: how often to breastfeed, making enough breastmilk and the comfort of breastfeeding.
New mothers are often bombarded with conflicting information about breastfeeding. There are many myths surrounding the art of breastfeeding that hamper its initiation and this article attempts to dispel some of the common ones that mothers may hear in the early days postpartum.
How Often Should Baby Breastfeed?
It is a myth that a mother only needs to breastfeed every four hours to maintain a good milk supply. It is a fact that when a mother breastfeeds early and often, her milk production is greater, her baby gains more weight and she continues breastfeeding for a longer period. Milk production is related to feeding frequency and milk supply declines when feedings are infrequent or restricted.
It is a myth that a breastfeeding mother should space her feedings so that her breasts will have time to refill. It is a fact that a breastfeeding mother is always making milk. The emptier her breast is, the faster her body makes milk to replace it; the fuller the breast, the more the production of milk slows down. If a mother waits until her breasts “fill up” before she feeds her baby, her body may get the message that it is making too much and may reduce total production.