One thing that is sure about pregnancy is that people love to offer you guidance and advice. While most people have good intentions, they often repeat information that isn’t exactly reliable. When it comes to providing nutrition to your baby, it’s important to be able to delineate myth from fact so that you can make informed decisions that work for your family.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand and her staff in Glendale and Los Angeles are dedicated to making sure you have all the information you need as your pregnancy progresses. Since you need to know whether you’re going to breastfeed before your baby is born, we want you to have the facts so that you can recognize the facts.
Myth: Nursing is natural
Fact: Sure, it’s natural, but so is walking, and learning to do that takes time and effort. Breastfeeding requires some specialized knowledge and for many women and babies it takes some effort and time to get it down pat.
Don’t worry! There are experts who can help if you’re struggling. Some babies take a little while to learn how to latch on, and sometimes finding the right position for you and for your baby takes some work.
Myth: Nursing always hurts
Fact: Nursing may be slightly uncomfortable at first, but it certainly doesn’t always hurt and there’s absolutely no need to “toughen up” your nipples. Once you and your baby have figured out nursing, there should be little pain involved.
If you’re experiencing pain, talk to Dr. Pourzand. You may have an infection or other problem that can be treated easily.
Myth: Small breasts don’t make enough milk
Fact: There is absolutely no correlation between breast size and milk production. Furthermore, most women are perfectly able to produce enough milk to meet their baby’s nutritional needs.
There are specific symptoms, such as lack of dirty diapers, lack of desire to eat, and lack of appropriate weight gain. If you’re concerned that your baby isn’t eating enough, discuss it with your pediatrician.
Myth: You need to restrict your diet to bland foods while breastfeeding
Fact: Although some babies do develop intolerances to certain foods, you should discuss any concerns about that with your doctor. Eating a balanced, varied, and nutritious diet is crucially important for your health while breastfeeding. Also, eating spicy foods won’t affect the taste of your breastmilk or your baby’s health, so bring on the heat if that’s what you like!
Myth: Not breastfeeding makes you a terrible parent
Fact: There are a variety of reasons women choose not to breastfeed, and none of them should be cause for guilt. As long as you make sure your baby is properly fed and cared for, you’re doing a great job. There are benefits to breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean it is the only way to care for your baby well.
Fact: However you feed your baby is the right way. If you choose to breastfeed, there is support to help you. Many organizations and providers are available to help you learn to breastfeed and overcome any problems you’re having, and it’s possible to return to work and continue breastfeeding. However, using formula is okay, too. The goal is to meet your baby’s nutritional needs and that looks different for different families.
If you have questions about breastfeeding, schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns with Dr. Pourzand. She has two office locations, one in Glendale and one in Los Angeles, for your convenience, and she’s happy to talk about your specific situation and circumstances.