Brittany Sandoval
East Regional Manager
Area Partner Tinker AFB, OK

If you have ever been pregnant, you know the first thing that tends to come after “congratulations”, is pregnancy and parenting advice. The people who come at us with this advice mean well and truly think they are doing us a favor, but you need to know what advice is a myth and what advice holds true? We asked our MilitaryMommies Area Partners to share some of the most common advice they were given, and have decided to share what our research turned up!

MYTH: “I was definitely told I had to “toughen up” my nipples in pregnancy. Specifically, to use a washcloth in the shower…”- Melissa Cruz (Fort Bragg)
I was shocked to hear this same advice was given to Rachel Brannan (Fairchild AFB), but it was also suggested that she try and use a DRY TOOTHBRUSH! Please, do not do this to your poor nipples! They have been through enough changes during your pregnancy, and they do not need to be rubbed raw! OUCH!
UNDETERMINED: Nicole McCarthy (Minot AFB) states that she was told that the newborn stage is the hardest. But now that her daughter has turned two, she thinks this piece of advice is a huge MYTH! Most of the Area Partners raising toddlers, and in the thick of potty training (myself included), agree that this is a myth. There are, however, other people who truly think the newborn phase was the hardest on them physically and mentally! With the variations in physical and hormonal changes which all mothers undergo, whether this piece of advice is a myth or not remains undetermined! Either way, coping is easier when you have support! It truly does take a village!

MYTH: “We have cats, and I have heard more than once to “be careful” because there is a fear that they will want to sleep in our daughter’s bassinet/crib and smother her.” -Leah Castro (Cannon AFB)
I had to do some digging to find whether this piece of advice is true. All of the resources I found say this advice is false! In regards to having pets around babies, it is recommended that you never leave your pet and your newborn together unsupervised. The baby is a new entry into your home, and acquaintances should be done with supervision. As always, ensuring your pet has had their annual check up is also essential as bacteria and some other pathogens can be spread to humans. Otherwise, having your animals around your baby can actually reduce the risk of allergies, and make your baby less likely to fear animals as they get older! Those are both a win in my book!

MYTH: “If you hold/cuddle your baby too much they will get too “attached” or spoiled.” -Mrika Harrigan (MCAS Cherry Point/Camp Lejeune)
This is untrue on so many levels! Babies thrive when they are well loved and nurtured! Affection and trust in their caregiver is a NEED, not a want for them, and is essential to their development! You enjoy those snuggles! Soon enough they will be too busy exploring their world!

LOTS OF MYTHS: One of the most common myths that we found when we surveyed our Area Partners was advice that was centered around breastfeeding! Here are just a few!

-“Formula is better for babies because of all the added vitamins”- Whitney Jackson (NAS Norfolk)

-”Eating onions will cause your breast milk to sour.”- Jessica Marlles (Malmstrom AFB)

-”Black women don’t breastfeed.”- Whitney Jackson

-”Let them cry until it is time to feed them again.”- Kim Hopkins (Fort Carson)

-”You can’t breastfeed if you have flat or inverted nipples.”- Whitney Jackson

I could write a large paper debunking all of these myths, but I will keep it short and sweet: If you have a question about breastfeeding, reach out to a professional! MilitaryMommies Area Partners can do some serious myth busting about breastfeeding, and if we don’t know the answer, we will find someone who does! Support and education are essential when it comes to infant feeding!

These are just a few of the responses we received! Unsolicited advice can elicit a lot of emotions, and it is totally okay to feel uncertain! We all come from different backgrounds with different perspectives. If you aren’t sure what to believe, always reach out to your village of support, your baby’s health care providers, professionals on the topic in question, or evidence-based information sites like the American Academy of Pediatrics. No two parents are alike, and not everything works for every family! Compiling information is key to making an informed decision when it comes to your child. Laugh off the bad advice and be thankful for the good! You never know when that unsolicited advice may come in handy!

You can contact Brittany at
Instagram: @BrittanySandovalRN