Debunking Common Breastfeeding Myths
August 26, 2015
Depending on your sources, there are many misconceptions online regarding breastfeeding. While breastfeeding education is best discussed with your doctor, mid-wife or board-certified lactation specialist, we’d like to talk about four of the more common breastfeeding myths and their realities.
Myth 1: Breastfeeding and formula are essentially the same.
Reality: There are proven differences and benefits to mothers and babies that breastfeed over those that choose to use formula solely.1
There are both health and cost advantages to breastfeeding for mothers and babies. Certain studies have shown that compared to those that are breastfed, formula-fed babies experience a higher incidence of gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, asthma, sudden infant death, certain childhood leukemias, Type I and Type II diabetes, and obesity.2 Research also indicates that the calories used during breastfeeding can be helpful for mothers in postpartum weight loss efforts.2-4 There also may be significant cost savings with breastfeeding instead of formula-feeding.
Myth 2: Prenatal breastfeeding education doesn’t make a difference and it takes too long.
Reality: Obstetricians can provide information about breastfeeding throughout the course of the pregnancy, which can greatly impact a woman’s breastfeeding experience. 1
Research has shown that attendance at parental classes, breastfeeding programs and having professional breastfeeding support increases the likelihood women will start breastfeeding and continue to breastfeed for at least six months.5-7 Use your prenatal visits to talk about breastfeeding early in the pregnancy, breastfeeding goals, correct latching techniques and the benefits that may be associated with breastfeeding. It is particularly important that you have discussed practical breastfeeding by your 2nd trimester. Ensure to revisit breastfeeding goals in the third trimester to reinforce the plan that you will follow immediately after labor and delivery.
Myth 3: Labor and delivery practices don’t affect breastfeeding success.
Reality: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists support the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) which details the steps every facility providing maternity services and care for newborns should follow. 1
Research has shown that rates of breastfeeding success increase when these steps are incorporated into hospital routines.8,9 In addition, mothers who experience more steps have higher breastfeeding success rates.10,11
Myth 4: Postpartum breastfeeding support is the pediatrician’s responsibility.
Reality: It is the obligation of the obstetrician to be familiar with common problems and issues to avoid misinformation that might impede the breastfeeding process. 1
Obstetricians are trained to address many issues related to breastfeeding. However, a close working relationship with a board-certified lactation consultant can be helpful when managing breastfeeding difficulties.
Nutritional Support During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding for Mom & Baby
Obstetricians and midwives play a significant role in initiating and sustaining their patients’ breastfeeding efforts. Expecting mothers should talk to their doctors early on about breastfeeding and nutritional support that can carry them through pregnancy and into their postnatal breastfeeding phase.
Prenate® Restore is a dietary supplement designed for the needs of breastfeeding moms and nursing infants. It’s the first and only postnatal vitamin with probiotics, DHA and 13 other vitamins and minerals.12,13 No other prescription prenatal vitamin indicated for use during breastfeeding has more DHA than Prenate® Restore, and the benefits of DHA are related to its dose.14 Prenate® Restore is the only prescription vitamin indicated for use in breastfeeding that contains probiotics – invisible “good bacteria” that have health benefits.14 Ask your doctor is Prenate® Restore is right for you. Click here to learn more about Prenate® Restore.