By: Dr. Caroline Brown MD, IBCLC

As a pediatrician, I help new parents with all aspects of newborn care. As a board-certified lactation consultant, I am especially interested in helping families with breastfeeding.  I spend a lot of time in clinic perfecting a baby’s latch, coaching mothers on how to increase or maintain their milk supply and dispelling common breastfeeding myths.  These days, misinformation and myths spread rapidly (especially on social media) and only add to the stress and confusion of being a new parent. 


Here are some of the most common breastfeeding myths I hear in my practice:

Myth: Breastfeeding hurts. 

Evidence: While nipple pain is common (especially in the first couple of weeks), it’s not normal! If an infant is latching properly, there should be more pressure than.  If you’re continuing to have pain throughout feeds or painful latch beyond those first couple of weeks, seek help from a lactation consultant.  When done correctly, breastfeeding should be more sweet than sore.

Myth: Breastfeeding moms need to follow a strict diet and avoid certain foods to prevent their baby from being gassy or colicky.

Evidence: Forget the food rules! Sure, you should aim for a balanced diet, but there’s no need to avoid spicy food, garlic, or broccoli unless they bother your baby specifically. 

Myth: Breast size determines milk production. 

Evidence: Size doesn’t matter in the breastfeeding world! It’s the number of milk ducts and glandular tissue that count. So, whether you’re blessed with ample curves or more modest mounds, your milk-making potential remains the same.

Myth: Formula-fed babies sleep better. 

Evidence: Ah, the elusive promise of a full night’s sleep! The truth is the breastmilk is digested faster than that of formula…but studies actually show no significant difference in sleep patterns between breastfed and formula-fed infants.

Myth: If mom is prescribed a medicine, she’ll likely need to “pump and dump.”  

Evidence: While there are a few medications out there that should be avoided during breastfeeding, it’s few and far between!  Most medications (even anesthesia or contrast for imaging studies) are compatible with breastfeeding and do not require pumping and dumping or an interruption in breastfeeding. There are great resources that give evidence-based information about which medications are safe and at what doses, so, if you as a breastfeeding mom are prescribed medicine or are going to undergo a procedure, be sure to ask the doctor (even better if that doctor is also a lactation consultant 😊) for that information! 

Myth: Breastfeeding prevents pregnancy. 

Evidence: Hold your horses, it’s not a foolproof contraceptive! While breastfeeding can delay ovulation, it’s not a reliable birth control method. Always use contraception if you’re not ready for another bundle of joy just yet.

Myth: Babies need to drink larger quantities of breastmilk as they get older.

Evidence: Just because your baby is getting older, doesn’t mean that they need more breastmilk per day.  Instead, the nutritional content of breastmilk evolves over time, so most breastfed babies continue to drink similar volumes from one month old onward! 

Myth: Breastfeeding should stop at a certain age. 

Evidence: Say it with me: “Fed is best!” There’s no one-size-fits-all timeline for weaning. Whether you breastfeed for a few months or a few years, the most important thing is that you and your baby are happy and healthy. Trust your instincts and do what works best for your family.


Dr. Caroline Brown, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician, an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), and an eight-time nominee and two-time winner of the TMOM Choice Awards’ Favorite Pediatrician in Winston-Salem.  Dr. Brown opened her own independent pediatric clinic, The Children’s Clinic of Winston Salem, in October 2023.  Her website is, and you can follow her on social media @DrCarolineBrown.