Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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Myth #5: If you give your baby bottles of pumped milk, she will refuse the breast. Truth: Most babies switch between breast and bottle with no problem. “As long as you wait until your baby has mastered breastfeeding [usually at about six weeks] before you offer her a bottle, she should be willing to switch back and forth,” Haldeman says. She notes, however, that women who limit their babies to one bottle per day tend to have less of a struggle.
Myth #6: You shouldn’t nurse if you have a blocked duct or breast infection. Truth: Exactly the opposite is true. The best way to treat a blocked duct is to nurse as often as you can. And the best way to prevent an infection is to clear a blocked duct. But how do ducts become blocked in the first place? “It usually happens when the baby’s nursing patterns change and the breast becomes overfull,” Lauwers says. “For instance, when a baby starts taking longer naps, eating solid foods and sleeping through the night, she may nurse less frequently, which can lead to blocked ducts.”
Besides frequent nursing, applying heat—in the form of a heating pad or wet washcloth—before nursing can help clear a duct. Also be sure your bra isn’t too constricting; and avoid underwire bras, as they can compress ducts.
If you do develop a breast infection—symptoms include redness and soreness in the breast, a fever and flulike symptoms—see your doctor right away, as you’ll need to take antibiotics. “But you can still nurse with a breast infection,” Lauwers says. “It’s not going to hurt your baby.”