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Advice when about how to take care of a baby will rarely if ever, be consistent. “Everyone tells me something different about breastfeeding.” I hear this all the time, and it is usually said in frustration. Moms expect there to be a clear and consistent message about breastfeeding. They want to know what will happen and what they should do to ensure that they will have a successful experience. They want someone to have “the answers.” The right answers.
I work in a hospital and I hear this from new moms. I also work with outpatients and facilitate a breastfeeding support group. This exposes me to moms with babies of all ages. I hear this frustration at all stages of breastfeeding.
There are a few reasons for this inconsistency of information you will get about breastfeeding.
- The age of your baby will affect what to expect from his behavior and what will be appropriate ways to manage breastfeeding
- I tell parents, in the first week it’s like they get a new baby every 12-24 hours. I also tell them that everything about parenting is temporary
- The knowledge of the person giving the advice will affect what they tell you about breastfeeding. Some people know a lot, some know a little bit… and you know what they say about a little bit of knowledge. Some people don’t know much of anything
- Concerning doctors, I talk about this here: https://breastfeedingconfidential.com/milky-minutes-doctors-breastfeeding
- Some people have different philosophies about the importance of breastfeeding, and the things that can impact it
- Some people will use their own experience to give advice, and most people have a slightly different experience, including yours
This brings us to the question, how can you make sense of all this conflicting information?
- Ask yourself first, is the information different, or just more information?
- If the person is a professional, ask why the information is different
- Ask the person what their education and experience is with breastfeeding
- Look at the information you are getting as a buffet. You are free to take in and use what you want. You are free to say, that’s not for me. Remember, you drive the bus, and you are also responsible for the decisions and choices you make
This won’t eliminate all the confusion. But it should help.
What is something that you’ve been given conflicting advice about with breastfeeding? Please share it in the comments section.
Andrea Tran RN, MA, IBCLC
Andrea has been working with new families as an RN for over 35 years and a Lactation Consultant for over 25 years.
She has her MA in Health and Wellness with a focus in Lactation.