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Real Answers to Common Breastfeeding Misconceptions

Real Answers to Common Breastfeeding Misconceptions

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This post contains affiliate links, if you click and shop from the links in the post, I may be compensated, at no additional cost to you. I only share the things that I use and love, and my words opinions are always 100% real. Thanks for supporting the company’s that help support my blog 
If you have followed me for a while, then you know that my struggles with breastfeeding my first child, are a big part of why I became a Lactation Counselor. Something that I feel really contributed to my struggle, was a lack of realistic expectations and not really knowing what to expect. So, part of my mission is to change that!
Today I wanted to share with you some of the common breastfeeding misconceptions I hear, and what the real answers to those questions. This is definitely not a comprehensive list, there are SO many misconceptions floating around out there, but it is a good start!
Its normal to have pain when breastfeeding
No, No, Nope! What is normal? Some discomfort and/or tenderness, usually peaking on day 3 postpartum. The discomfort should subside after the first 30-60 seconds and even that should start to subside after the first few weeks. I always encourage moms to have a good nipple cream on hand for those early days, just to soothe the soreness. My personal favorites are Motherlove and Earth Mama® Breastfeeding Products
Any pinching or pain that lasts longer than those first initial seconds or for weeks and weeks, misshapen nipples, bruising, severe cracking or bleeding can be an indication that something is not quite right.
Often times it is a simple fix, like a position change or showing a mother how to look for baby to open really wide. Other times it is something that takes a little more work. So if you are struggle or worried, please reach out for help early, it can usually be fixed and there is no need to push through. If you have questions or want help finding a lactation professional, please reach out to me!
You don’t make any milk at first, you have to wait for it to come in
False! Your body starts making Colostrum, which will be your babies first milk, around 16 weeks into pregnancy. Many mothers will leak near the end of her pregnancy, others do not. Leaking or not leaking during pregnancy, is not any kind of indicator of how your breastfeeding journey will go.
So where did the term “milk comes in” come from, anyway? Well, your milk will transition from Colostrum to more Mature Milk, between 3-5 days postpartum. So yes, there is a transition period, but you are making what your baby needs until then! Frequent feeding during those first days is normal, to fill baby’s tummy and to tell your body to send that mature milk.
If you are worried that your baby may not be getting enough, please reach out to a lactation professional for support.
You have to use cradle hold, its the “right” way
Huh? No way! Once I worked with a mom who had pain with latching. She told me that she had been breastfeeding comfortably, when someone told her she was holding her baby “wrong” so she changed positioning and that’s when the pain started. We quickly fixed that, by simply going back to the way mama liked it to start with.
Whatever position works best for you and your baby is the only right way! I find football and laid back “biological” positioning to be most comfortable with my newborns and then we move to cross cradle as they get older. Side lying, is always my most favorite! You find what works for you!

Breastfeeding requires a certain diet…foods you have to eat and have to avoid
The only diet breastfeeding requires is actually eating. Eat if you are hungry, even if you feel like that’ s all the time! Please, please, please don’t skip meals. Breastfeeding burns somewhere around 300-500 calories and your body needs that fuel! There are no foods you need to avoid, unless you find your baby is sensitive. Many moms find that certain foods or galactogauges help their milk supply, but everyone is different and responds differently.  So, if you find something that works for you, eat up! But don’t feel like you are doing something wrong if a herb or food doesn’t make a difference for you.
My favorite nursing snack (my toddler loves them too!) are the bars from Milkful, they are SO tasty and filling. i will probably keep ordering them even after I am done nursing, because they are so tasty! They are dairy, soy, egg, and wheat free so no worries for allergy or food sensitive mamas. They are full of lactation boosting ingredients (remember, its okay if you don’t see a huge boost or any at all, these foods are still yummy and good for you) like oats, flax, nuts, and brewers yeast. And no, they actually do not have that weird after taste that a lot of lactation cookies or bars have.
My favorite flavor is the Blueberry Almond, but the Chocolate Banana is a close second. If you want to order some to try, use the code aryn10 for a discount on your order at
Regarding herbs or supplements, please consult with a lactation professional and speak with your Dr. before starting anything new, while there are some great products on the market, it is important to be informed about the medications and supplements you choose to take. 
The amount of milk you can pump, is the amount of milk your baby gets
Nope! This was actually a really big surprise to me, with my first. I really thought the pump was just this cool little machine that replicated your baby. So not true! Yes, pumps are amazing little machines that allow moms to give their baby(s) breast milk, if they are away from them or struggle with or even choose not to latch them.
But ultimately pumps are not a baby, and they don’t always remove milk like a baby. So the amount of milk a mom can pump is not necessarily and accurate indicator of her supply. Some mamas don’t respond well to pumps, and that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to make plenty of milk for their baby. There are some ways that you optimize your pumping, I shared my tips in this post, if you need some help!
You can tell if your baby is getting enough milk from you by watching for good amount of wet and dirty diapers, their weight gain and growth, and their cues.
Once again, if you are worried that your baby isn’t getting enough milk, please reach out for help. Every journey is different and with the help of a lactation support professional, you can reach your breastfeeding goals.
My mom, sister, or cousin struggled with breastfeeding, so I will too
Breastfeeding success isn’t really genetic. Just like pregnancy, and really life, your experiences will probably all be different! I learned that kind of the hard way with my first.  My mom had 5 breastfed babies and not one struggle, she was probably an exception to the rule, and breastfeeding really did come very naturally to her and her babies. I reeaaalllly struggled in the beginning with my first, a complete opposite experience! We had to work and learn at breastfeeding, it didn’t come so natural to us. My sister that is in the picture with me below, also struggled breastfeeding her first.
Birth stories, support, a baby’s personality, confidence levels, life situations….so many things can factor in to a breastfeeding journey. So please don’t think just because someone close to you struggled, means that you will.  A small amount of moms breastfeeding struggles are related to genetics, and if issues arise, they can be addressed and a plan can be made to meet whatever breastfeeding goals that mom has.

My sister and I nursing our 2nd babies together

Did any of these things come as a surprise to you? Or are there other breastfeeding myths you would like me to bust? As always, I would love to hear from you in the comments!
There are so many misconceptions out there, it can be hard to know what to think or believe. I am sharing the real answers to the most common breastfeeding myths and concerns, I hear as a CLC. Read more at

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I'm Aryn, and I'm so glad you are here! As a n esthetician and MUA, I love sharing attainable, affordable, and fun skin care and beauty. Obsessed with helping you #lovetheskinyourein, here you'll find my musings on motherhood, favorite things, and hopefully a little solidarity too. So grab your favorite drink (Diet Coke for me!) and stay awhile! I can't wait to be friends! Read More

XO, Aryn

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