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Breastfeeding: True or False?

Heard so many things you don’t know what to believe anymore? Here’s the real deal.

By Kira Krieger

Photo: Erin McFarland Photography

You can kiss your perky boobs good-bye if you decide to breastfeed.

False. Sort of. While it’s true that your breasts will probably never be the same, you can’t blame all of it on breastfeeding. Their shape will change even if you chose not to breastfeed. In fact, pregnancy alone plays a much bigger role than whether or not you decide to nurse.

Drinking alcohol will boost milk production.

False. While it might relax you, alcohol will actually make you produce less milk. According to a study by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, having a drink can increase prolactin, which makes your breasts feel full. Because of this, mothers think they’re making more milk, but they’re actually not.

Your size A-cup breasts won’t produce enough milk.

False. Milk production has more to do with the cells and ducts that carry the milk than with the size of your breasts. Some women will need to nurse seven or eight times a day while others need to nurse 11 or 12 to get the same amount of milk. But none of it has anything to do with breast size.

Using cabbage leaves will help you to soothe engorged and sore breasts.

Maybe. Though many mothers swear by it, the scientific jury is still out on this one. It’s likely that chilled cabbage may work since it acts like a cold compress, not because its leaves have magical powers. But it’s worth a shot, as this remedy is totally harmless.

You can’t get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding.

False. While it’s true that many women won’t conceive while they’re nursing, a lot depends on how often you nurse, if you nurse on demand, and whether you’ve gotten your period. The final verdict: This is an extremely unreliable form of birth control.

Rubbing and tugging on your nipples while pregnant will help prepare them for breastfeeding.

False. You definitely can’t pre-prep them. Besides, trying to do this might actually make matters worse since you could cause callusing or some other type of damage. Ouch!

The Bump Expert: Corky Harvey, lactation consultant at Santa Monica’s breastfeeding hot spot, The Pump Station

Plus, More from The Bump:

Top 10 Breastfeeding Problems -- Solved!

"What I Wish I’d Known About Breastfeeding"

12 Ways to Make Breastfeeding Easier

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