Express Yourself: Common Breastfeeding & Pumping Myths

BeauGen Vlogging Mama Liesel Busts Common Breastfeeding and Pumping Myths!

BeauGen Vlogging Mama, Liesel, busts some common myths around breastfeeding and breast pumping in this informative blog post and video. You can choose to watch the video below to see which myths she is busting or read on in this post. 

Will Liesel bust something that you have bought into? Watch this video to find out!

Let’s Bust Some Myths

You can’t have caffeine. 

There is a limitation on caffeine when you’re pregnant (less than about 200 mg while pregnant, which is equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee). When breastfeeding or pumping healthcare providers recommend you stay around 300 mg of caffeine or less (about three 6 oz cups of coffee. If you are worried or unsure about the consumption of caffeine, talk to your healthcare provider. 

When baby is eating all of the time, it means they aren’t getting enough milk.

This is false. Almost every baby will go through a period of what is commonly called “cluster feeding”. Cluster feeding is when the baby eats and eats and eats. The reason for this can be growth spurts, periods of development, etc. It does not mean that your baby is not getting enough to eat. If you are worried about the frequency or duration of your baby’s feeding, consult your healthcare provider or a lactation professional.

Skipping or delaying a feed will increase the amount of milk in your supply.

This is a myth and can actually produce the opposite effect. Your body will produce milk based on the frequency and duration of your baby’s feeds. Many moms choose to alternate pumping and feeding to increase their milk supply by tricking their body into thinking that it’s feeding twins. Speaking to a lactation consultant can help to clarify this myth further and answer other questions you might have about your milk supply. 

You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding or pumping.

Breastfeeding is not a form of contraception.  That being said, if you are exclusively breastfeeding or pumping (i.e. not supplementing with formula) it can delay ovulation.  Just like your pregnancy, your breastfeeding or pumping journey is unique. If your period returns, there is a high chance that you are ovulating and can in fact, get pregnant. This is a great conversation to have with your healthcare provider. 

You have to drastically change your diet when you are a breastfeeding or pumping mom.

This is also false. There are foods that might affect your baby or your milk supply but this can vary with different women. The one food group that does seem to commonly affect breastfeeding mothers is dairy. Some babies have or develop a dairy allergy. Some old wives tales tell women to stay away from onions, broccoli, garlic, etc. This is totally false. 

If you have smaller breasts you are not going to produce enough milk.

Or on the other side, if you have bigger breasts you are going to produce a lot of milk. We’re here to tell you that your cup size does not have a significant impact on your body’s milk production! If you are an expectant mother or a breastfeeding mother, and have questions about your milk supply or how to increase it, we highly recommend that you seek answers from your healthcare provider or a lactation specialist. 

Here are some helpful breastfeeding and pumping facts to help you on your journey: 

All breast milk has a unique smell.

Yup, your milk smells like no other moms’ and your baby has the ability to recognize your unique scent.  

Your breast milk can taste like the foods that you eat.

While it’s a myth that what you eat when you’re pregnant can affect your baby’s palette, what you eat while you are breastfeeding or pumping can. Eating a well rounded diet during this phase of your mom journey can help broaden your baby’s diet as well.

Slacker boob does exist.

The truth of our bodies is that it is common for one of our breasts to produce more milk than the other.  If you experience higher volume on one side, you are completely normal. 

Your body adjusts your breast milk to the climate that you are in.

If you are in a warmer climate or experiencing a heat wave, your breast milk will change in temperature. This happens so that you are able to quench your baby’s thirst and make sure that they are getting enough to eat as well as staying hydrated.

Breastfeeding or pumping can make you feel hungry all of the time.

It takes a lot to feed our babies. Not only does what we take in help to form our milk supply, but the actual production of breast milk burns a few extra calories. 

Like the economy, breast milk production is based on supply and demand.

The higher the demand for milk, the more your body will produce. The more frequently your baby feeds, the more your body will produce. This is how we can utilize breast pumps to help supplement or stimulate your milk production. 

Breastfeeding and pumping moms have a slightly raised body temperature.

This can be an unfortunate fact of feeding your baby as sometimes the elevated body temperature can cause night sweats. It’s important to stay hydrated!

Breasts can get softer over time.

As you settle into a routine with feeding your baby, your breasts can become softer or less firm. This doesn’t mean that you are not producing the same amount of milk. It simply means that your body is adjusting or getting used to breastfeeding.  Engorgement usually occurs during the newborn period - or the first six weeks.

Oxytocin helps your uterus return to its normal size.

That feel good hormone that we know and love is what actually helps our body (specifically our uterus) return to size after giving birth.  

It’s Alive!

Your breast milk actually contains live cells, which can be seen under a microscope. 

Nursing requires a higher metabolic energy.

This is the reason some moms notice that they tend to lose a little bit of weight while breastfeeding or pumping. 

Your breast milk can change in color.

Your milk conforms to your baby’s needs, which is why sometimes it can appear to have a different color. If baby is sick your milk might look more yellow, other times it can be more of a blue tint. 

Moms with twins will produce milk specific to each baby depending on which breast feeds them.

Talk about double duty! 

Antibodies to certain infections can be passed through your breast milk.

Your body will pick up on potential viruses or threats to your baby and fortify your milk with antibodies to help protect them. Your body does this through detecting these viruses in your baby’s saliva. 

Now that you’ve eased certain fears and learned a bit more about breastfeeding and pumping, it’s time to add in a bit of comfort. Click here to shop for BeauGen’s innovative Breast Pump Cushions

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