Like other events that one might experience, having a baby brings with it many doubts. Understandably, the mother has doubts about her ability to bring forth the baby, whether the baby will be healthy, and how the family will provide all of the social and financial necessities for the next 18-plus years. The truth is that, with a little turbulence along the way, most times, all turns out well for mother, baby and family.
During the childbearing experience, there’s another set of doubts, though these are often ignored. Questions aren’t raised, and truths remain hidden about the breastfeeding advice that is given during the hospital period.
If there’s a myth about breastfeeding that’s been given during the hospital period, odds are I’ve heard it. Mothers themselves have told me these myths as I’ve taken care of them in the hospital. Mothers have told me such myths 2 days or 2 months or 2 years or 20 years after their hospital experience. Nurses, lactation consultants, childbirth educators, doctors, and other healthcare professionals have often spread these myths in my presence. I’ve heard these myths from parents and professionals from Maine to California, from Florida to Washington state, from Virginia to Oregon, and everywhere in between. Sadly, the same myths I heard 20 or 30 or more years ago are largely the same as those I heard yesterday, or will hear tomorrow.
Before arriving at the hospital, mothers need to decide to be skeptical about the usefulness of the advice they may receive. Certainly, I’m not saying that all advice is bad. But I am saying that questioning such advice is critical. We do not arrive at the truth unless we question.
Listen now for more about the 10 myths you’re likely to encounter during your hospital stay and in the early newborn period.