Nursing: Facts & Fiction
Here's the straight scoop on three common breastfeeding beliefs.
- Your baby can be allergic to your milk. False. "There's never been a documented case of a baby who's allergic to his mother's breast milk," says Katy Lebbing, a lactation consultant with La Leche League International. "However, he could be allergic to something his mother is eating, particularly cow's milk or other dairy products."
- Eating oatmeal will boost your supply. It's true! Foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, and anything made with whole grains are loaded with B vitamins. Experts think that these vitamins are vital to milk production.
- Exercise can affect breast milk. True—kind of. "Intense exercise may increase the lactic acid—which is slightly bitter—in the milk," says Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession. "But this is only if a woman is working out extremely hard. More likely, it's the taste of sweat on the breasts that annoys the baby." The easy solution: Shower before you nurse.