Excerpted from my exclusive interview with Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and a breastfeeding medicine specialist.
Most women fail at breastfeeding because of common misconceptions in our culture. Check these out and make sure you don’t fall for these “booby traps” again:
Myth-conception #1 – Breastfeeding needs to be scheduled.
In fact, the tendency to treat breastfeeding like bottle feeding is poor advice. Is there a schedule at all though? Breastfeeding should not follow a “set” schedule according to the clock, however, a natural schedule will develop over time. Allow that schedule to happen based on reading the baby’s hunger cues and listening to your body as far as breast fullness/pain as indications that feeding time is near.
Myth-conception #2 – There’s a good chance I won’t be able to breastfeed.
The truth is, there are very, very few cases of a true inability to breastfeed. Even in those rare cases, it is usually possible to partially breastfeed. In reality, most women are “unable” to breastfeed because of problems that are ignored or not perceived as problems and therefore are not addressed in time. For example – nipple soreness. Which leads us to…
Myth-conception #3 – Breastfeeding is painful and I just need to “toughen up.”
The reality is that while there is a certain amount of increased sensitivity, continued pain (of greater than a 2/3 on a scale of 0-10) is a red flag and you should immediately seek help. Nipple soreness is almost always the result of poor latch and/or poor instructions to mother about how to get the baby to latch on properly. Many times, hospital instructions about breastfeeding are outdated, treating breastfeeding more like trying to put a bottle in the baby’s mouth. If you let the baby lead the way, the baby will instinctively root to the breast and tend to have a better latch and/or adjust their latch in a way that is more effective for milk removal and is less painful for the mother.
When I started breastfeeding, I believed all three of these Myth-Conceptions, which created difficulties and a long path back to successful breastfeeding. Fortunately, I sought the help and support of a Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist, and regained the ground I’d lost!
If you’d like to contact Trisha Ludwig or Breastfeeding Resources, please email: [email protected]