Published on August 15, 2019

Helpful Tips for a Successful Breastfeeding Journey

Dana Czuczka, MPH, IBCLC

Two women breastfeeding babies1. Myth or Fact: Never wake a sleeping baby
Myth!
Sometimes you have to wake a sleepy baby to eat. A newborn baby needs to eat at least every 3 hours (it’s ok if it’s more frequent). So, if baby is very sleepy and not waking on their own to feed, we recommend that parents wake them in the first few weeks. If baby is very sleepy and hasn’t eaten in 3 hours, try undressing baby and/or changing a diaper. That should do the trick.

2. Myth or Fact: Baby's stomach is the size of a cherry on day one
Fact!
On baby’s first day of life, their tummy is tiny! This means they don’t need a lot of volume to fill them up. In fact, baby only needs about 1 teaspoon per feed on the first day. Mom’s colostrum (the first breastmilk) is perfect for baby.

3. Myth or Fact: A breastfeeding mom should be careful with her diet and avoid certain foods
Myth!
Breastfeeding moms don’t have to eliminate any specific foods. A normal, healthy diet is perfect for the breastfeeding mom and the breastfed infant. There are many old wives tales about what foods to avoid. But, don’t worry, you can eat what you like… even spicy food!

4. Myth or Fact: It's normal for breastfeeding to hurt
Myth!
Breastfeeding may cause your nipples to be sore in the first week, but it shouldn’t be painful. Pain is usually a sign of a shallow latch. If you are experiencing pain, reach out to a certified lactation consultant for assistance!

5. Myth or Fact: Breastfed babies have lower risk of many health issues or diseases 
Fact!
Research shows that breastfeeding helps protect against a variety of illnesses such as ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, certain cancers, obesity and more!

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