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Myth-Busting! 6 Common Misconceptions About Breastfeeding

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1. Small breasts produce less milk than large ones.  Breast size has nothing to do with how much milk a woman produces.  Breast size is determined by how much fatty tissue you have in your breasts, while milk production happens when mammary glands are stimulated to produce milk and push it through the milk ducts, under the nipple and areola.

2. You can’t breastfeed with inverted nipples.  Flat or inverted nipples worry many women, but they should not prevent you from breastfeeding in most cases.  In some cases, flat or inverted nipples may be harder for baby to latch onto, with a little extra attention you can nurse just fine.  Your lactation consultant may recommend wearing breast shells between feedings to help draw out the nipple.  You can also draw the nipple out with a breast pump immediately before nursing.

3. You can’t breastfeed if you’ve had surgery.  If you have had a breast reduction, reconstruction, implants or other surgery, you should still be able to breastfeed in most cases.  Your milk producing glands and milk ducts may be just fine, so check with your physician to be sure.  

4. You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding.  For some women, breastfeeding may prevent ovulation, but it is not a reliable form of birth control.

5. Your milk supply is low.  You may worry that your baby’s non-nutritive sucking means she isn’t getting enough to eat.  If your baby always wants the breast, it doesn’t mean your milk supply is low.  Suckling also provides warmth, comfort and closeness, which your baby craves.  A better way to determine if baby is eating enough is weight gain, diapers and developmental milestones.

6. Breastfeeding is easy right off the bat.  In reality, breastfeeding is different for every woman and every baby.  Some moms and babies get in the groove right away, while others may need a little extra help.  If you are having trouble, talk to your lactation consultant or visit a local breastfeeding support group.

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