Top 10 Breastfeeding Myths for Pregnant Moms

You’re planning to breastfeed your baby, and you’ve probably even heard popular catchphrases like “Breast is Best”. And that can result in a lot of unnecessary pressure for both mom and baby. Today we’re busting some common myths associated with breastfeeding and supplementation in those first few days and weeks after birth. Our goal is to unravel the misconceptions and empower you with wisdom to help you navigate newborn breastfeeding confidently.

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Episode Transcript

Sunny Gault 0:00
If you're planning to breastfeed your baby, and you've probably even heard popular catchphrases like breast is best, and that can result in a lot of unnecessary pressure for both you and your baby. Today we're busting some common myths associated with breastfeeding and supplementation in those first few days and weeks after birth. Our goal is to unravel the misconceptions and empower you with wisdom to help you navigate newborn breastfeeding confidently. This is preggy pals. M, is that a plus sign? Pink or blue hospital? Or homebirth? What type of food should I be eating? I think I just paid myself. I'm pregnant. And I have to exercise what pregnancy glow. Wait, was that a contraction?

Erin Harris 3:05
And yeah, I'm sure more of that will come out as as we dive in. But I also have a podcast myself called weaning it. It's a podcast for toddler nursing moms. And so we talk about shared stories and experiences. So if you're unfamiliar with the term extended nursing, it's basically any and all time after one year of nursing and things change a lot because it's less about keeping this child alive with through your body and more using it as a really pure powerful parenting tool to overcome a lot of the upsets and sleep and so many things. And so I now help people more on that parenting side of how do you parent with and without the boob and your child kind of being in charge of it? Yeah, yeah, that's really important, because there's not a lot of information out there about that. So I know you've created some courses and stuff. So that's, that's amazing. Well, we're excited to dive in this with you today. So thanks for being here. Thank you. And we also have Cynthia joining us is Cynthia, as a mom said, why don't you tell us a little bit about your family. Hello, first and foremost, thank you so much for having me on. I'm super excited to chat with you all about breastfeeding. So my name is Cynthia and I'm currently five months postpartum. And I'm also a stay at home mom. So I've actually been a stay at home mom for a little less than a year now. I married my high school sweetheart and we have three beautiful kids together. So my son is five my oldest daughter is three and my baby daughter is five months. So that's a little bit about me, but I was able to breastfeed all three of my babies as well. I didn't get past five months with either of them. With my last one I really was trying to push to breastfeed a little longer just because I am a stay at home mom but I think my body just now

Cynthia Avila 5:00
Ashley wants to stop at five months with all three of my kids. So, unfortunately, that happened for me, but I'm super thankful that I was able to to breastfeed them for as long as I did. So I'm super excited to chat with you all about breastfeeding. Thank you so much for having me here. Oh, of course. And Kaile is joining us. Kaile is our producer, and also appears on our twin talk shows and helps us out with the mighty moms online group that we have. So Kaylee, welcome. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi, yes, happy to be here. So I have a daughter, who just turned one a couple weeks ago. And as you guys were intruding the topic for today. I guess I'm part of the extended nursing club now, which is so wild to me. I remember when I was pregnant, I didn't know anything about breastfeeding. My mom didn't breastfeed. My mother in law didn't I'm the oldest. So I didn't have any sisters to go off of who breastfed. And so my goal was always six months, I always just had that random goal. And now that I hit a year, I'm like, Well, geez, you know, I don't I don't know where this journey is going to take us. But through the journey, there was a lot of information that's out there on social media or a lot of information that's given to you. And so I think this is a really important topic. And I'm excited about it just going over some myths, some facts, some helpful tips. But yeah, that's a little bit about me. Wonderful. And you may hear some of my story peppered in throughout today's episode. It's It's been a while since I've breastfed, but I do have four kids of my own. And I breastfed all of them, but for various lengths. So my my first was probably around, I don't know, maybe three months, I'm not sure if I got to that three month mark or not. I didn't know what to expect at all. Then with my second that was more like six months, and I was really, really happy with that. And then I was blessed with identical twins. And I Oh, boy, you know, breastfeeding twins is is another story in itself. But I felt like I had, I had a little bit of experience under my belt. And I was just determined to breastfeed these babies for as long as possible. And, and I was able to do that. So I'm happy happy to share my experience as needed throughout today's episode as well. So let's go ahead guys, we're going to take a quick break, and we'll be right back.

Sunny Gault 0:53
Welcome to preggy pals, everyone, my name is Sonny, and I'm going to be your host today. If you haven't already, be sure to visit our website at New mommy And subscribe to our weekly newsletter, which keeps you updated on all of our episodes that we release each week. Another great way for you to stay updated is to hit that subscribe button or follow button on your podcast app. And if you're looking for a great way to get even more involved with our show, then check out our online community. It's called Mighty moms. And that's where we chat more about the topics discussed here on our show. And it's also an easy way to learn more about our recordings if you're interested in joining us live. So let's meet today's panel of gas. I want to start with our expert today who is Aaron Harris. Now Erin has two master's degrees. She is a lactation educator and family communication expert who specializes in extended breastfeeding. And she's also has created various courses to help us busy moms. So Erin, welcome to preggy pals.

Erin Harris 2:15
Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Sunny Gault 2:17
Wonderful. Well tell us a little bit more about your family and what you do.

Erin Harris 2:21
So I have a seven year old currently in a four year old and my seven year old was my extended nursery. But I always say you can't become an extended nurser until you get past those first days, right? Like no, you can't make it two years if you can't get the hours in and the latch the latch is key. And so I just am really happy to be here and talk about that. I am my journey. Had bottle feeding some supplementation. My second completely different story. I cold turkey weaned at four months, and I became a pumper. So I kind of covered the gamut.

Sunny Gault 7:23
Today, we're discussing common myths associated with breastfeeding. And we know many of you listening are planning to breastfeed your babies. And it's important to have realistic expectations, especially in those early days. So you can achieve your personal goals. And to know about alternatives to exclusive breastfeeding, just in case things don't quite turn out as planned. So I've got 10 different myths in front of me here. And I've got them all in order. We're going to go through these and Aaron, what I'm hoping we can do is, you know, introduce the myth, and maybe you can give us a little bit of background on it. And then we'll check in with our other moms to see what kind of experience they have with this. So our first myth Myth number one is, it is rare to not produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed. Aaron, what do you think about that? Okay,

Erin Harris 8:15
so this one can get overwhelming. I think it's one of the biggest fears moms have have. I'm not I'm not going to produce enough, I'm not going to be enough for my baby. And the the beautiful thing about it is it's okay, so it is not completely rare, right? It does happen. But there are it's a symptom, there are things that you can know before baby comes to look out for to know if you're at higher risk. So what does this look like? Well, if you've had a breast reduction, or any any kind of surgery around your breasts that have impacted the tissue that could be set you up at higher risk to not be able to create milk because if you had a reduction and your glands, your milk plans were removed, then you won't have the you know the capability it doesn't mean maybe no milk, but maybe you set yourself up in the beginning because you know you're going to have to supplement from the get go. Milk production is hormone based. So if you have any type of fluctuation in hormones, if you have thyroid issue, if you have diabetes, if anything to do with your your hormones, I suggest seeking out a lactation consultant prenatally to get a deeper assessment to see if these factors are going to come into play. So there I could laundry list it. I don't want to freak people out. But the point is, while it's not rare, you can it doesn't have to be a surprise, right? Like so many of the things that happen that cause milk production to not happen. It's just a matter of how we're dealing with it as a society of why we're blind sighted. On the on the flip side You know, those are mom, physical contributions. There's also baby, right? you've maybe heard of tongue ties and, but really, a lot of it comes down to latch. And if you've never done this before and baby hasn't, it can take a little while for you to figure out how to get a deep enough latch. So that baby's actually getting quality succession. So the important thing is to always make sure that you are you and your doctors right or assessing Wait, that's the primary way to do this. And if you need to supplement a little bit, that's okay. It's not an ember, I think I'm jumping a little bit here, but it's not going to completely derail everything, it. But just know that like, sometimes in the beginning, especially, it can take a little while for that milk to come in. And if you don't have any risk factors, it could just mean that you and your baby, you have to figure it out in the first couple of days.

Sunny Gault 10:59
And I think this is a big topic for a lot of moms, because they have this idea that a lot of women do want to exclusively breastfeed, I think there is pressure, what is it for the first six months? Is that kind of what the official rules are, Aaron, I can't remember.

Erin Harris 11:14
So the suggestion is exclusively for six months. And then currently the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and World Health Organization are all aligned saying encouraging to two years, which sounds very overwhelming, but I want to really, like clarify on that. What that means is they're really telling doctors don't deter moms from nursing that long and rough because that can happen. They can they can say oh, you're at six months, it's time to wean and which is not necessary. So yes, it can get very overwhelming at the pressure and breasts. I feel like we're moving away finally from breast as best I know, that is best is such a becoming a stronger phrase. But I know for me again, like I my first was born in 2016. And that was just ingrained in me. Yeah, like I was terrified of introducing formula. Yeah.

Sunny Gault 12:13
Yeah, I think a lot of moms can relate to that. And I do want to check in with our moms just to see how they felt about this idea of exclusive breastfeeding. Ladies, did you feel pressure to do that? Or what was your situation?

Erin Harris 12:27
I think? I think there's this stigma

Cynthia Avila 12:29
that a lot of women or specifically a lot of mamas feel the pressure, like Erin said, of having to breastfeed and my son was born in 2019. And I definitely felt this pressure. I think from the very beginning, even during my pregnancy, and you know, my my doctor checkups, my doctor would tell me like, Are you do you plan on breastfeeding? Do you pray on doing this and this and this, and I think there was always this pressure. And so I always knew like, Okay, this is what I'm going to do. My mom breastfed my mother in law, breastfed people. I know, breastfed, so I was like, Okay, this is something I have to do. And so I was very fortunate that my son latched on, and he was my only baby. So I think when I was home with him, every time he cried, I would just pop them on the on my breasts, and he would just, you know, take it. And so I was fortunate enough to produce so much milk that I was able to stash some away. Because like I mentioned, I wasn't able to breastfeed past the five months, I think my body was just like, Okay, I'm done. I'm not producing any more milk. And I'm sure there was other factors to that, like me returning back to work and things like that. But I definitely do feel like there is a stigma that we have this pressure that we have to breastfeed, and so it could be a little overwhelming. But sometimes in the beginning, if you're trying to figure it out with your baby, especially if you're a first time mom and baby isn't latching and you're getting a little frustrated, and baby's not making certain weight, sometimes the pediatricians will tell you to supplement and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But yeah, that was that was my that was my experience.

Kaile Hunt 14:08
I would agree with everything you said, Cynthia, I remember when I was taking my birth classes while pregnant, there was this huge section on breastfeeding and I was, you know, left with more questions than I had going into it. And then when I had my daughter, the last time, I had to ask for the lactation consultant to come see me in the hospital and she came in she's like, up the lapse looks good. However, you know, if you need supplementation, we can always provide that, but we typically don't talk about that unless you have problems. And I just felt like I wish you know that I had more information because what problems could arise or you know, and so when I went home, you know, I didn't have any supplementation, then I'm breastfeeding my daughter, and no one are like, my mom didn't breastfeed, and so I didn't really have anyone to reach out to and so it was a lot of worrying in the early days of like, okay, I shouldn't be breastfeeding. They didn't give me a lot of information on what to do if I need to supplement. And so it was me just kind of Googling, which isn't healthy. waiting and seeing, you know, like is she gaining weight. So at her two week mark, she thankfully did gain her all of her birth weight back. But it was a lot of unknown. And so I feel like not only is it confusing, but it's also this pressure of like, well, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. So I think it's working, which I feel like isn't really healthy.

Erin Harris 15:26
Right. I also want to chime in to that there are what and just what you just said, I had the same a similar experience where I had no, i Oh, my gosh, I'm over educated person. So I took all the courses and I felt so prepared. But everyone was just like, don't worry about formula, don't research it, you won't need it. So I didn't have any bottles. I didn't have any formula. And it was like overwhelming in the beginning because my supply wasn't coming in right away. And so I do encourage you especially again, if you have high risk factors, which seek out ask your your OB, for a reference to a lactation consultants, prenatally, please, that's the best thing you can do. Your OB is not a lactation expert, the pediatrician is not a lactation expert, talk to them and ask them like am I at higher risk for low milk supply? If that's a concern of yours, for another example would be if your your mother tried to nurse you and didn't succeed, why might that be right? But do research bottles like you don't need to stock up at have a couple. There are other ways that you can give supplementation, you could hand express your colostrum and milk on to a spoon and give that to your child or a syringe. Like if you're worried about introducing the bottle too early. Those are methods like there are many ways to get the the nutrition into your child that hopefully will not conflict with your desire to nurse.

Sunny Gault 17:04
Okay, well, let's move on. Let's talk about how much breast milk our babies should be consuming. And I'm talking about like right after they come out. This is a newborn. In fact, I want to talk about the first day. Because there are some misconceptions, I think on how much they should beginning. So we know that the newborn stomach typically obviously all babies are different, is it holds between five to seven milliliters on the first day. Okay. And there is a concern that if you give your baby more than that, that it could stretch out their stomach and lead to obesity. Yes, we are already worried about obesity on day one of our babies. So Aaron, can you clarify this a little bit? What's going on here?

Erin Harris 17:44
Well, I'm I'm guessing this perhaps there's a racial racial element to this that babies who were given formula immediately. So there is no breastfeeding introduction whatsoever. That's a higher rate with black women and black children. And also, you're adding in so many other socio economic elements there that, you know correlate to obesity later in a child's life. A baby's stomach is small, it's tiny. So you don't necessarily want to introduce an entire bottle of formula, right? But the colostrum is different than formula. So it doesn't mean that the volume is going to necessarily be equal you the volume of formula you are introducing will be different. But colostrum is very low volume, actually, but it has a lot of dense nutrients, think of like it's a raisin instead. And then your the milk that comes in later is a grape, right like so it has more fluid in it. But it has really rich elements that are important for coating the baby's stomach with good bacteria and all of these things. So don't worry as much about filling your your child's stomach. Breastfeeding in the beginning is really more about doing it often. To stimulate your milk supply coming in and giving them little bits at a time, then huge bottles. But again, if you are concerned if you're seeing issues with your child's weight, if they are not seeming satiated, meaning they're upset, they're not sleeping, especially as a newborn. Those are all indicators that you want to check them out and make sure that you know especially if you're on day, two to four, what's going on with your supply and that again, it's normal to not see a lot of milk come out. Get your mind out of Pinterest with the stashes, the freezer stashes that will not happen on day one. You will have a thick, kind of yellowish colostrum coming out of your breast.

Sunny Gault 19:52
Yeah, let's let's talk more about colostrum. And I'm glad you defined what it is. So that leads us into our third myth which Is colostrum is more nutritionally dense the mature milk and it is all that a newborn needs for the first days. Is that true? Or is that a myth?

Erin Harris 20:09
Well, so this this myth kind of intrigued me because I, from my education, believe it's true. I'm sure there's an aspect to this right. If your milk supply is coming in normally and your baby is latching effectively, this should be all they need. Let's say your baby is a preemie. Let's say your baby had a traumatic, you had a some sort of trauma in the birth, there may be other influences going on where they do need supplementation, but the average baby should be fine. With colostrum, it really does have so many nutritional benefits there, you do not need more. Unless, again, your baby is losing significant amount of weight, which means when like if your baby has lost more than like 5% in a day, there's something going on there that needs to be addressed. And yes, they should be supplemented. But again, it doesn't have to be by a bottle. And it can be supplemented by your self expressing the milk because if it's a latch issue instead of a supply issue, that is a different story, right? We want to keep producing the colostrum so your milk comes in. But we also need to get it into baby's mouth in a more efficient way.

Sunny Gault 21:28
Yeah. And how long do we have that colostrum? Is it different for every new mom?

Erin Harris 21:35
Yeah, I mean, you're new. You're okay, so we'll talk about a fancy word called lacto. Genesis. So your milk comes in. To get a little techie it once birth happens, I told you mentioned before, it's all hormones, right? So your estrogen levels and your progesterone drop when your placenta is birthed. And those levels shifting trigger the milk production hormones to increase so that's prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin makes the milk. Oxytocin allows the body to do a letdown of the milk. And so let's say though, that you're What did I just call that? The big long word? No, not that what is the placenta, your placenta? Let's say a piece of your placenta stays in and it isn't fully birthed, that will impact the trigger of all of your hormones switching, and could delay your milk production, right? That's a thing. So there are things I just bring it up because I don't want to scare you and make you think that this is happening. But I think so many times we end up not having answers and just feeling like we're not enough or we're doing something wrong. And most of the time there is there is a reason these things are happening. So I think that went above and beyond what you initially asked me but the average mother who has healthy breasts, and how to you know, uneventful, and by uneventful I don't mean unmedicated necessarily, right. But I mean, you didn't have a 48 hour traumatic birth that led to C section when that's not what you wanted, right? Like, that's a lot. For you and the baby, then classroom should be all you really need.

Sunny Gault 23:40
Alright, let's move on to myth number four. And I'm sure moms are gonna have something to say about this as well. Frequent crying for the baby, not the moms and nursing, normal newborn behavior until the milk comes in.

Erin Harris 23:57
No, yeah, so your baby, if your baby is crying, it's a late hunger cue. And they are they're trying to tell you something like if you're they're crying, imagine that they're hangry. Okay. And so that's a big cue in the first days, if they are screaming their heads off, then you need to check their weight. Make sure like, Okay, let me get a little more specific here. So you can do a weighted feed. And what that means is you weigh them without a diaper on before you nurse them, you nurse them and then immediately after you weigh them again, and that will show you how much milk they took in. Right. And so, if you if they're crying and you do a way to feed and that weight didn't change at all, they're probably hungry and do need supplementation beyond what you're making. What I don't want to have happen though is that you stop self expressing or pumping when they get the supplementation with formula because that will stop your milk from coming in. Right? So anytime that there's supplementation mom still needs to work on stimulating her breasts so that the milk can come in. Okay?

Sunny Gault 25:13
Mom's what kind of experience do you have with this new anyone have any fussy babies? Was it hard to get the milk in, I'll

Cynthia Avila 25:20
Um, this one resonated with me so much, because my, my second, my second, my first daughter, I experienced this a lot with her, I, I feel so bad because I tell everyone that my son was super easy. And then my newborn was super easy. But my daughter, My middle child, she, she was a little hard. And I think it was from the very beginning, I had to supplement with her from the very beginning. So I did do a little bit of formula when she was when she was a newborn, like right out of the hospital. I remember her pediatrician coming in and just telling me that I needed to supplement right away, which, which scared me a little bit just because I didn't have to do it with my first and I think for a lot of, for a lot of moms who do have multiple kids, they they automatically like to compare and be like, well, this is not what I did with my first or my second like I don't understand, right. And so I definitely had a lot of that frequent crying, and nursing. And so I did have to, I did have to supplement with with formula. I wish I knew what Aaron was talking about back then. Because for my third child, I wasn't producing milk fast enough. And my baby wasn't wanting to eat as much either. And I remember when I was still at the hospital, the nurses would tell me Well, if she's if she's sleeping, just let her sleep, you don't have to wake her up every two hours, which was very odd to me. Because when you're in the hospital, the nurses are like on you every two hours to feed your baby. And at that point, I was like, You know what, I'm tired too. So if she doesn't want to eat, and I won't feed her, which was probably horrible on my end, because she was she wasn't hitting weight. And so then the pediatrician was like, well, you can supplement with your own breast milk. And I was like, Oh, I've never had to do that. So I would breastfeed her and then I would pump and my husband would feed her another ounce afterwards. And that stimulated my milk a lot to the point where I oversupplied for my third child, which was, which was great. And I just wish I would have known that with my second because I had to supplement from the very beginning, just because she was very fussy, and maybe she wasn't getting enough milk. And when I did supplement, throughout the entire experience of breastfeeding her, I always had to supplement and I never produced as much as I did with my first and third. So I wish I would have known this earlier. But I think it's I think it's definitely important to know now that if you do if you don't produce enough milk, that you can always supplement with your own. You can always pump I guess, and supplement with formula so you can still stimulate your body to make sure it's producing enough for later on.

Erin Harris 28:08
Yeah, if I can jump back in on that, that that is called triple feeding. And it is a good strategy. A temporary strategy though, because it is a lot of work to was. And I think the problem that I see a lot of the time is that someone will suggest this like a professional without any follow up of when to stop. And so I've seen mom's triple feeding for weeks and they are not sleeping and it's exhausting. And that's if it's working for you, I guess keep doing it. But if it's not there, it is perfectly acceptable to stop doing that and instead of supplementing the bottle with one ounce of your milk supplementing with one ounce of formula and getting some sleep perfectly okay, all right, I was only able to

Cynthia Avila 29:02
I only needed to do it for about a week or two. So I'm thankful for that. But definitely

Erin Harris 29:09
yeah, it's not meant to go on forever.

Kaile Hunt 29:11
How interesting. I also had a very similar experience with triple feedings so it was recommended at the hospital for me because I had a low birth weight daughter and she was making weight she we were doing weighted feeds, it was all fine. However they wanted to really make sure I guess she was getting enough. And so I was triple feeding for probably like six weeks. And I would I gave birth at an army hospital so i It wasn't with a like an OB er that I had a pre existing relationship with it was just the OB on call and then every time I would go to a lactation consultant, there was four that shifted, they rotated so it was always someone new. And so I was recommended something after birth, triple fed. And my daughter wasn't so fussy, so I know she was getting adequate breast milk from me and then when I pump to um, and then I was just doing it for weeks on it. And finally, the lactation consultant, you know, six weeks in and when I had a follow up visit was like, why are you still doing that? Do you have twins? No stop, you need to just, you know, she's getting enough. It's okay. You don't need to over produce this much milk. Because yeah, by nine weeks, I had a huge freezer stash when really, I could have stopped after a week or two after she

Sunny Gault 30:21
was born. And Aaron, I think you mentioned this earlier. But I'm going to continue on to myth number five. And that's about newborn weight loss. And so our myth is, newborn weight loss is caused by fluid shifts, not inadequate feeding, I actually never heard of this before, fluid shifts, so people have a tendency to blame it on that.

Erin Harris 30:39
Okay, so I think what this is about is when a child like so if you get fluids during while you're in delivery, and if you have a C section, the baby may be, like, pumped up slightly because of those fluids. So like their initial weight might be exaggerated because of those fluids. Oh, okay. So what I think is really important for this myth is to not assume that is why your child's weight is going down quick. Right? Right. So if you did have fluids, or do you do have fluids when you deliver, it's not significant enough, and it doesn't happen all the time. But no, I Yes. Again, like if you, if your baby is losing weight, do not assume that is the reason. Yeah,

Sunny Gault 31:31
that definitely makes sense. Okay, ladies, we've got five more myths we're going to bust But first, we're going to take a quick break, and we will be right back.

Welcome back to preggy. Pals, we are continuing with our top 10 list of breastfeeding myths, specifically things you should know shortly after giving birth to your baby. So ladies, let's continue on with myth number six, which is if exclusively breastfed newborns produce one wet and dirty diaper each on the first day to wet and dirty diapers on the second day, and then three each on the third day, then they are getting enough milk. So we're basically looking at what's coming out of our babies and going. Okay, yeah, I think that they're getting enough milk based on what's in their diaper. So Aaron, that's a myth. So again,

Erin Harris 32:27
I think there's some of these are just Asterix, like it's a good indicator, but it really comes back down to the weight. I you can buy a child that kind of looks like a meat scale, you can buy a scale for your baby at home. Like I think some people can get over intense about it. But carrying on from my personal experience, like when I learned that, that I could have that and see how much they were in taking. That helped my anxiety a lot in those first days. So the your baby may be producing wet diapers, but still not gaining weight. I think that's the biggest component here. So it's good, right? Like if they're not if the if the diapers are not increasing, that is an indication, right? But you again, don't just want to assume like let's say going back to what we were talking about earlier, let's say you have a crying baby, your baby is just upset, seeming kind of colicky, or don't know what's going on. They're not sleeping well. But they're getting those dirty diapers. Now, you want to make sure that you're addressing the behavior, not just assuming it's okay. Because yeah, right, all of these things coming together. You don't want to say they're getting the diapers, they're losing weight, but I had fluids, they're upset, but they're a baby. My mom's telling me babies cry. Right? So all of these things coming together are really big indicators that you need to get something assessed to make sure that everything's your A your baby is getting fed. And then secondary, figuring out what the main cause of the issue is.

Sunny Gault 34:03
Yeah, that makes sense. I want to talk a little bit more about weight loss, because another thing that we're told is new moms is newborn weight loss of up to 10% is normal and safe. But that I don't know. That seems like a lot.

Erin Harris 34:19
It is a lot. I think it's something that to be watched, right? Like it honestly depends on the pediatrician. It's amazing. Like it wasn't, when you have your first child, you're told certain things and you assume that they're kind of fact, you would think but then like you have your second child a couple of years later and you're told whole new, completely new set of facts and you kind of realize, well, what's going on here, right? And so, if you are going in for your first week, well I'll use my personal example here. Actually, my friend my daughter was losing weight and my milk wasn't coming in. But my doctor instead of initially jumping to formula it's She jumped to a jump, she said, You need to get up more consistently at night, make sure that like every two hours, you're getting up and nursing. And this is actually something else that most I feel like new moms, it's not clear enough, it's explained in classes that you start, like timing the between time between nursing sessions at the beginning of a nursing session, not the end. So if you're nursing for 30 minutes, that starts like, let's say you start at midnight, you don't then say like, Okay, I finished at 1230. So then it's another two hours, that would actually be two and a half hours, right? So you need to add some oftentimes up the amount of times you're nursing to pick up that weight loss. And for me, that works, not for everyone. And if it's not working, if your child is continuing to lose weight, and it's not balancing out or starting to gain by the first few days, well, I'll say the first five days, if it's still going down, then that is not normal, or necessarily safe. If you have, again, it's depends on the weight of your baby. If your baby was preemie like all of these other things come into play. But you don't want to just assume everything is okay. Yeah, because that's happening. Yeah, that makes sense.

Sunny Gault 36:23
Moms did you have? Did your babies have any kind of significant weight loss? Was that a concern for you guys? Yeah.

Cynthia Avila 36:29
So again, with my, my first one, he was just he was just easy. He latched on right away. And then he made way, I mean, he was 99 percentile for his wait till he was like about one. So I never had any issues with my first but definitely with my second and third with my daughter's both of them. I had pretty big kids, when they were born, they were like almost nine pounds, all three of them. And so I think a weight was such a huge thing for us, because they were, they were born at nine pounds. And then my daughter is just, you know, they lost, like three or four pounds at the first checkup. And so I think that's why the pediatrician thought that we needed to supplement. So that was definitely something that we struggled with. But of course, with the supplementation, it did help. And after the first first or second week, their weight was back to normal. And then we were able to continue breastfeeding with just breast milk as normal, but that was definitely something we struggled with. I just remember always making sure that I was breastfeeding every two hours and making sure I was checking the dirty diapers. I think I'm definitely one of those people that made sure that we had a wet diaper every single day and made sure they were pooping, just to make sure I definitely wish I had a scale and knowing what I know now. And I could do I could wait my babies. But yeah, definitely that was something that we we struggled with a lot.

Kaile Hunt 38:04
I would hop on it and say I was definitely concerned about the weight loss because I had a small baby, she was just shy of six pounds. And so the pediatrician was always checking her weight the first two days right after I gave birth and she was you know, she lost. I think she lost 7% of her birth weight. But then after the first week checkup, she gained it back or was close on track. I don't exactly remember the percentage, but she was on track, but there was something in the back of my mind all the time. I just remember in the early weeks, I would constantly like feeder every two hours. And then in the first two weeks, I believe you have like two or three doctor's appointments. And they always do an in depth, you know, check on the weight to make sure she has enough wet diapers and so I was keeping track of everything like I was like she's feeding every two hours for 15 minutes or five minutes on one side 10 On the other like I was obsessively keeping track because I was so worried that she was going to lose more weight or dip back down because she was already on the littler side. And so I'm glad we're having this topic about you know, the weight loss and, and diaper output because that was something that I wish knowing now looking back on not to worry about as much that weight fluctuates and you know, as long as the pediatrician which again, pediatricians have varying different opinions, which is interesting as well, but as long as you feel good about it and you know your your kid is not losing a bunch of weight, which looking back I wish I would have just relaxed just a little bit. Yeah,

Sunny Gault 39:41
I think that's good advice for most new moms. I mean, every baby is a little bit different. So you know you react a little bit differently with each kid for sure. I want to talk about freezing our breast milk, okay, because this is another one of those topics that can stress new moms out or moms To be out. So this leads us to myth number eight. And that is you should begin your milk freezer stash as soon as possible. Aaron, what do you think? Oh, boy.

Erin Harris 40:11
Okay. Yes. This is a myth. And it's, I mean, it's cultural because especially here in the US, we have to go back to where I did my first one, I went back to work nine weeks postpartum, which was way too early, but you are going to be away from your baby for for any extended amount of time. You need to have something there to feed them. And if your goal because we've been told to exclusively breastfeed for six months, it you know that that has to happen in your mind, well, then you need to pump. What can happen here is you can unintentionally, give yourself an oversupply. So a lot of our first questions were really focusing in on, you know, those fears of the underweight or what if my milk doesn't come in, or the low supply, but a lot of those fears for moms who do not have low milk supply, trigger into I'm going to pump between every session I heard about, you know, this method to power pump. I'm going to do that. You see the Pinterest things like I said before, like filled freezers filled with it. And oversupply sounds good, right, because we're a culture of more, but a lot of physical problems can come with it, you can more easily get in gorged, which leads to clogged ducts and mastitis, and it's much harder to so here's what happens. So you feel uncomfortable, because you're in gorged, and so you think I need to pump to feel better. But when we over pump, it actually triggers our body to believe we need to make more milk. So then you're producing more milk, which makes you more in gorge and the cycle continues. And so being very careful with this, what can this look like in a realistic fashion, if you really like if you're going back to work, and you, you want to continue breastfeeding solely, you maybe can add, when your baby is done nursing a session like once or twice a day, you put the pump on immediately after for another 510 minutes and get a little bit each time. Because they are little, they don't need a lot even sometime earlier, we were talking about like one ounce, right? Like one ounce is not that much. Older children will need more. But once your milk is in, you will be producing four ounce bottles regularly. But you don't need it right away. And if that pressure, like we haven't even gotten to motherhood, mental health right now, your boss, your baby needs you to be present in there for them and playing with them and happy more than they need you strapped to a machine producing milk for them. Like that is important too. So that's my I'll get off my soapbox.

Sunny Gault 43:15
The other side of this too, as I was thinking, you know, especially with my twins, I pumped I was well, they were little tiny things when they came out. They didn't need the NICU but I was I was pumping a lot because their mouths were still really tiny and stuff. And I remember stocking up because I was so concerned about not having enough breast milk stocking up the freezer with these bags. No and, and I ended up because I was I was working from home. So I really didn't have that whole issue of I'm not going to be around my baby, you know, I gotta go back to work or whatever. And my girls always just preferred to be with me, because obviously that's the most natural thing. And I remember being like, well, what am I going to do with all this frozen breast? It's just kind of in the freezer. So I don't really remember what we ended up doing with it. But my my girls didn't need it. You know, so I know that there's like pressure like stock up, stock up. And maybe that is needed more if you do have to go back to a regular job. But for me, I found that I stressed out about it. And then my girls didn't even need it. You know?

Erin Harris 44:17
Yeah. Well, and I think is it was a Cynthia, you you were at that five month mark right in your mind of like, I don't produce pass this right. And so I need this. And so all of this comes from fear, right? The fear of not having enough not being enough and producing enough. So if if you have that experience, but that's fine, right? But I just want everyone to just make sure that you're keeping your bodies in check and healthy because it's that jumping into oversupply. I had it in my mind that like oh well if nursing doesn't work. If I don't like it, I can just stop but then I punched myself into an oversupply and was constantly afraid to skip a pump because I would immediately get clogged Ducks have the status twice. And you don't want that. Yeah. So that's just why I think it's the site that doesn't get talked enough about because no one assumes they're going to have an oversupply, but a lot end up with it.

Sunny Gault 45:12
Yeah, that's interesting. Okay, let's move on to myth number nine. And this is about nipple confusion. So we hear about this, and often it gets associated with bottles. So our myth is introducing a bottle too soon will cause nipple confusion. Is that true, Erin?

Erin Harris 45:30
No, it causes nipple preference, though, I think it's so funny. We think these little babies are like so confused. They don't know what to do with themselves. Know, bottles are easier, guys. They're just easier. And when when a baby latches, the milk doesn't immediately start coming out, they have to work out a little bit, they have to stimulate the nipple to cause a letdown to happen. So it takes a few seconds for the flow to happen. And then the flow can be stronger on one side than the other, right? Like there's variety to it every time. So a bottle is consistent a bottle will always give them the same amount in the same way. But when they start to like that, they might start to redirect the breast more. And this did happen to me with my second my first wasn't as into bottles. But something I wish I had known that can be really helpful is not to not use a bottle, but do something called Paste, Paste bottle feeding. So YouTube it you can you can see videos about it. But from the get go when you when you start bottles, you want to try to mimic the feeding of the baby through taking little breaks, you want to instead of just pouring the milk down the baby's mouth at a you know at an angle, hold them up and have the bottle a little more horizontal. So they actually have to suck the milk out instead of it just draining into their mouth. And all of these, these steps when you introduce a bottle will make it much less likely that they start to prefer the nipple of the bottle instead of the breast.

Sunny Gault 47:16
Ladies where you guys can fused or where your babies I guess I should say confused about the nipple going back and forth between bottle.

Cynthia Avila 47:25
Yeah, so I think I mentioned this earlier that my two daughters, I had to supplement with them. And so I introduced the bottle should probably like within four days of them being born. And so I definitely did have some some nipple confusion, nipple preference. So I think with my with both of them actually, I actually had to transition to exclusively pumping them just because they were not latching as well after two months. And maybe my My middle child, it was a little longer. I think hers was around three months. And so I exclusively pumped for a month or two months. With my daughter, my newborn now I actually had to transition her around the two months and exclusively pump and just give her the bottle because that's just what she preference or preferred scuze me. However, I do think that it had had to do with a lot of other things because she was sick, and she got RSV. And I think she was just very fussy for a while. And so when I transitioned to the bottle, she just took it better. And at that point I just wanted her to be eating or drinking milk. But definitely struggled with that a little bit. And so I had to I had to transition to only exclusively pump them for a while.

Kaile Hunt 49:00
I would piggyback to and say in the early days I was so scared about nipple confusion. I don't know why I think the algorithm for new moms on social media it really gets Yeah. And you're already dealing with the hormonal shift of you know, having a baby. But man, I was so nervous. And so I waited I think two weeks to introduce a bottle and then yeah, I was pumping all the time, which was ridiculous just to have a freezer stash for no reason. And so I was really in gorged and it was really painful. And that first initial latch when your milk comes in who those first couple of days your nipples are going to be tender and a lot of milk comes out at least in my case. And so when I finally needed a break, I thought we would give her some of my freezer stash milk and she eventually just preferred you know, my boob and so I never really had the whole nipple confusion because she didn't really like bottles and to this day, I think she's only had five or six bottles in her whole year. She just it just wasn't it wasn't what she preferred. And so going back to it I just Yeah, I definitely feel like the information out there is kind of daunting, but not to worry as as much because I feel like like you said, Aaron's babies are smart, they're gonna tell us what they want, whether it's the bottle or the boob, they're gonna definitely explain to us which way they like to get milk.

Erin Harris 50:10
Yeah, and there's there's nothing wrong with bottle fitting a baby and pumping is fine. Like, I know, I did it. I was not my preference, because it's a lot of work to pump exclusively like it's harder and more time consuming than just a can. Yeah. Well, I mean, if it's hurts, maybe the flange might need to be a different size. But yeah, there's, there's so many elements to this. So it's easy for holistically to just say, just don't introduce the bottle, and it'll solve it will solve the problem, because then you won't have to introduce, you know, this idea of nipple confusion. But that's not realistic for the vast majority of us to do.

Sunny Gault 50:49
Yeah. All right, ladies, we're at our last myth, and this one is a big one. Myth number 10. Introducing supplemental milk will cause breastfeeding to fail, Aaron?

Erin Harris 51:03
No. So again, this is one of those Asterix where it didn't have itself formula is not going to immediately derail everything. However, I do think that if it's going to be brought in, if you're, it depends on your goals, right? If your goal is to exclusively breastfeed, you don't want to bring in supplementation if it's not needed, if it's warranted, if the baby's weight is dropping, if your milk hasn't come in quite yet, absolutely, it's necessary, it dibbles not mean, you're not going to continue breastfeeding. But you do need to continue pumping, when the baby is getting supplemented, as I said before, so that's the biggest thing that is usually missing. When I hear people start to supplement. Let's talk about like, at night, for example, like if someone says, Oh, my baby's a week old, I'm just really tired. So I, my husband gave her a bottle of let's not even say formula, let's say a bottle of pumped milk from the freezer, and I slept all night. So great baby got fed, but your body was not stimulated. And so it was going to start saying, Oh, I guess I don't need to make this much milk anymore. Yeah, so it's not the supplementation, but it's the lack of continued stimulation of the breast. That is the bigger problem when continuing breastfeeding. Yeah, mamas.

Sunny Gault 52:33
Did you guys have this, this thought to about oh, my gosh, I need to hold off on formula or whatever, as long as possible, because that's somehow going to impede my breastfeeding relationship. Was that a concern for everybody? Or for anyone? Yeah,

Cynthia Avila 52:47
I think it was definitely a concern. For me. I think I mentioned this earlier that I feel like there's a stigma where we have to breastfeed, and we had to, and there was just so much pressure to do it, that I was like, I need to stay away for formulas as long as I possibly can. But again, every baby is different. And every situation is different. And so if there is a need to supplement and that that is definitely okay. But yeah, I definitely, I definitely had that issue too. And

Kaile Hunt 53:17
same, I was told from a friend who breastfed too, that, you know, it's okay, if you need to supplement. Here are some brands that, you know, I used for my babies, and I just remember being like, I'm glad to have that in the back of my head. However, I didn't go out and buy any, because I just felt like, oh, I'll just power through, I'll pump or you know, feed and keep nursing every two hours. And so I definitely think I like the new campaign effect is best not breast is best, because it just adds the whole breast is best adds so much just pressure, I think to new moms that you know, breastfeeding is the only way and there's so many other ways to feed your baby. And there's so many great formula brands out there that I've had moms attest to, you know, so I just think it's a lot of pressure in the early days. And it really doesn't need to be, you

Sunny Gault 54:03
know, I'm glad that that message is getting out more that fed is best, because when my you know when I was having babies and pregnant and all of that, maybe we may have been at the cusp of that coming out. But still I kept hearing breast is best. And I remember I don't know if they do this anymore. But there were formula companies that were sending formula for free just sending it to your house. Like I don't know how they got these lists from the hospitals or whatever. And I remember being so appalled. Because in my head, it was like, Oh my gosh, you're trying to get me to fail. You know, you're saying I can't breastfeed like there was this whole stigma in my head. And I remember I told my husband, I was like, we're throwing this out. He's like, Well, okay, he's like, let's just we'll put it on the top shelf of the cabinet. You don't have to look at it, but just in case. So ladies, I'm glad that the Fed is best is getting out or more, because it creates, it just gives moms a little bit of a break. You know, and we haven't even talked about stress, because, um, I guess we have a little bit, but stress can obviously impact your breastfeeding relationship, as well. So in milk production and milk production, right, so if you're getting from all these different angles, you know, indirectly, well, you might not succeed at breastfeed, you know, that's all stress as well. So anyway, I'm glad it sounds like the tide is turning. And I think that's a really good thing. So that's awesome. Yeah,

Erin Harris 55:33
I would really encourage everyone to do a little research don't, you don't have to go over the top, but find a brand or two that whether it's from referral from friends, or wherever that on Instagram, I follow the formula mom, she's great. And so you can do your research. So you, for me, I have, as I mentioned already, like I'm an anxious mom. But if I knew in the back of my head, well, if I need it, I at least know I did my due diligence. And I know which formula I want to use. Yeah, that that feels good, right. And it doesn't mean we will use it. But if it's needed, I know what I want. So that's very powerful. A it can make you feel actually more empowered. I also, just since you were talking about the formula companies sending you the things, I think that's a really important distinction here is formula isn't bad. But formula companies have done some bad stuff in their marketing and the fed the breast is best, as a marketing campaign really started in third world countries where they don't have clean water to sanitize bottles, and they didn't have money to continue buying the formula. So what was happening is they were getting these free samples like you did, but then their milk wouldn't come in. And these babies were literally dying, because they could not feed them. And so the campaign, really, when it comes here to you know, Western world has taken on this whole intensity, that really wasn't the focus, the focus was to make sure these babies who, you know, in these areas of the world who can't sanitize bottles, and go out to the store and pick and choose which formula they wanted, that they were surviving. So if that kind of gives context to, again, hopefully alleviate some of that feeling of pressure to do that, and exclusively breastfeed. You know that that wasn't the goal of that in the beginning. Anyway,

Sunny Gault 57:40
I love the history. That's really helpful. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you, Erin. And thank you to all of our ladies, our guests for joining us today. For this episode, be sure to check out new mommy That's where we have all of our podcast episodes, plus videos and more.

Sunny Gault 58:05
And that wraps up our show for today. Thanks so much for listening. If you love preggy pals as much as we do, please consider checking out the amazing businesses that sponsor our shows week after week. And we would also love for you to tell another pregnant mama about this resource, which of course is absolutely free. And if you want to check out some of our other podcasts we produce, we have new bees, parent savers, the blue group, which is all about breastfeeding. If you want to learn a lot more about that check out the blue group. And we also have twin talks, which is focused on parents of twins and multiples. And if you want more information on that again, visit our website. New mommy Thanks for listening to preggy pals your pregnancy your way.

Disclaimer 58:49
This has been a new mommy media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of new mommy media, and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate. It is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health, or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider

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