HCA Virginia - July 18, 2019

Cue the eye rolls because there are as many breastfeeding myths floating around as there are ads on Facebook. Some are silly, like: You can't breastfeed if you have flat nipples (Nipple shape does not impact milk supply), while others are dangerously misleading: Breastfeeding is fool-proof birth control (Nope, just not true). Then there are myths so widespread and persistent that most women think they must be true. A team of lactation consultants sets the record straight.

MYTH: You should 'eat for two' to produce the best breast milk

FACT: Your breasts respond to your baby's needs. The more your baby nurses, the more milk your breasts will produce. Your diet and water intake are important for your overall health, but do not have much of an effect on your breastmilk quality or supply. You don't need to eat more or drinking extra water to make breast milk.

MYTH: Sore nipples are a rite of passage — everyone gets them

FACT: Many women have some initial discomfort while teaching baby to latch on properly but sore nipples or any kind of pain while breastfeeding are signs of a problem. A lactation consultant or a latch clinic can help you correct pain-causing issues early or avoid soreness completely.

MYTH: If you don't get the hang of breastfeeding before you leave the hospital you probably won't.

FACT: Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn't mean it comes naturally to every mom and baby. Our lactation consultants say it takes about six weeks on average to get the hang of it - just like learning any other new skill. That's longer than most parents think it should take so they often give up. If you're worried about how much your baby is getting, check their output: diapers! By day 5 a health full-term infant should be producing 5+ wet diapers and 3-4+ dirty diapers in a 24-hour period. For questions, even long after you leave the hospital, reach out to your lactation consultant (they can often answer questions or trouble shoot issues over the phone!) or see your pediatrician.

Join a supportive community of new parents in the area by attending The Global Big Latch On event — a celebration to promote and support breastfeeding.

This global event is happening right here at Reston Hospital Center on Saturday, August 3, 2019 from 9-11 a.m. Get all the details about this free, family-friendly social event and register by visiting our event page.

Questions can be directed to Shannon Longendyke, Birth Navigator, at 703-639-9538.