Few topics arouse as much controversy as the topic of breastfeeding. Along with the multitude of stresses and pressures that come along with being a new mother, she must also decide if nursing her baby is right for her and the child. Unfortunately, the information that comes to us about the most natural of functions is heavily laden with myths and false notions. Here is some information; you can milk for all it's worth!
Myth: Breastfeeding will ruin the shape of your breasts.
Truth: Most women find that their breasts go back to their pre-pregnancy size and shape after they stop nursing. Age, the effects of gravity, and weight gain have more effect on breast size than nursing. Breasts will always change in consistency after pregnancy.\
Myth: Small breasts don’t produce as much milk as large ones.
Truth: Breast size has nothing to do with the amount of milk they produce.
Myth: You need to toughen your nipples before your baby is born.
Truth: Your body naturally prepares for breastfeeding. Tactics to toughen them may actually interfere with normal lactation.
Myth: Breastfeeding is painful.
Truth: If the baby’s latching on properly, there shouldn’t be real pain or soreness. It’s important to talk to a lactation consultant who can help you and your baby make the process as comfortable as possible
Along with closeness and health benefits like hormones and antibodies in breast milk that protect babies from illness, other breastfeeding bonuses include:
- Moms who breastfeed burn about 300 to 500 extra calories a day compared to those who feed their babies formula, and research shows that they do tend to slim down faster.
- Breastfeeding releases hormones that trigger your uterus to return to its pre-baby size and weight faster.
- A 2012 study in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine found that women who breastfed were less likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression over the first four months than those who bottle fed.
If you have questions about whether breastfeeding is right for you and your baby, talk to Dr. Strebel or Dr. Grolle at your next appointment. They can guide you toward the resources you need to make an educated decision.