Breastfeeding Myths Debunked For Barren Broads

This morning we told you about Kelly Rutherford, the Gossip Girl grande dame who is still breast feeding to lose weight. But recently, Salma Hayek told Oprah that she didn't lose a damn pound nursing.

So what gives? There's so much judgment (see Page Six's nasty treatment of Kelly's continuing to breast feed her "walking, talking" two year old) on both the pro-and-anti-breast feeding sides, we decided to look up what some fairly impartial sources had to say on the matter, since all of us here are childless whores who don't know about birthing babies.

Weight Loss: Dr. Joan Meek, a pediatrician and author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' new mother's guide to breastfeeding tells MSNBC that when it comes to calories expended, "It's really how much total breast milk the baby takes in over the period of the day. The average mom will make about 24 to 28 ounces of breast milk a day. It takes about 500 calories to make that much milk. Some of those calories come from fat stored during the pregnancy or previously, and some come from the mother's daily nutrition." However! "We don't recommend women significantly reduce calories during breastfeeding. It's more helpful to increase exercise. Most women will actually lose weight in spite of what they're eating. Many feel they can practically eat anything they want, which is unlike any other time in life! Enjoy it!"

Hurtiness: Doesn't it seem like having a wee one clamped to your breast might be a tad bit painful? According to the La Leche League , "Some deep breast twinges during let down can occur as the milk ducts constrict to force the milk towards the nipple. As your body becomes more used to breastfeeding, these disappear." They also say that it's all about positioning, and "Your back, arms, feet and elbows should be well-supported, and your shoulders and neck muscles relaxed." But, you can also get infections like mastitis, and if you don't empty your funbags frequently enough, you could get flat nipples that are difficult for babies to latch on to.

Duration of Nursing: Dr. Meek says that 6 months is standard, and she recommends going through the child's first birthday. However, "Mother and baby should decide when to wean," and the World Health Organization says that up to two years is kosher.

Udderly Icky [NYP]
Salma Weighs In On Breastfeeding And Postpartum Pounds [Lil' Sugar]
Answering Your Questions About Breastfeeding [MSNBC]
Breastfeeding FAQ [CDC]