Breastfeeding Myths

by - 08:30:00



There are so many breastfeeding myths out there, I could end up writing for a VERY long time!

So here are my top 5 that me, my sister and my friends wish we would have know before we started feeding!

1. Breastfeeding is a GREAT contraceptive.
Firstly yes, breastfeeding can act as a contraceptive, but there is a lot of 'criteria' that you have to meet. The 3 main things are; you're baby needs to be less than 6 months old, you're periods should not have returned and you should be breast feeding on demand with at least 6 long feeds in 24 hours with gaps no longer than 4 hours in the day and 6 hours at night. The other part of this myth, is that even if you have met all 3 of the criteria, you can still get pregnant., but like any contraceptive it is not 100% effective. I know many people who have became pregnant while breastfeeding some who knew the above information and some who just believed that breastfeeding would work alone.

2. Breastfeeding makes your boobs go saggy!
When I was first pregnant and announced to my friends that I would be breastfeeding, one of the main reactions I got back was 'your boobs will go saggy'. I still laugh that my friends who dislike breastfeeding or are against it will use that excuse and I know that its not true! Scientist have done experiments which have proven that its not breastfeeding that makes your boobs saggy, its the pregnancy itself. So it didn't matter whether I breast fed or not, if the pregnancy was going to make me saggy anyway, I may as well do what’s best for my baby!

3. You baby will only go on the breast when she/he wants to feed.
Babies suck for many reasons, sometimes they want to feed, other times they are stimulating your milk supply to build it up for their growth spurt and sometimes they just want to use you for comfort. It may take a while, but eventually just like you will understand the different cries of your babies, you will also know when you baby is feeding or sucking for comfort and at that point you will know to offer a hug, toy or dummy.

4. Formula fed babies sleep much better than Breastfed babies.
Formula fed babies may sleep longer than breastfed babies but only if they are over full. When you eat a meal and are totally 'stuffed' you will sleep for longer as you are overfull. In the first few days when a baby is born their stomach is the size of a marble. When a baby is breastfed in those days, he/she will take the perfect amount of milk for their stomach. In the case of bottle fed babies the bottle could have 4/5oz of milk inside it, which means that the babies marble size stomach will be overfull and they will probably sleep for longer. 

5. All babies instinctively know what to do.
 So you were told that your baby would know exactly what do when it came to breastfeeding, everyone made it seam extremely easy and you believed that all you had to do was 'get your boob out' and you would both feed perfectly together. 6. Now although breastfeeding is very natural, it is a learning experience for both you and baby. You may need to learn placement and attachment. For some babies, they would need a little helping hand when being encouraged to feed. Sometimes you may need to express into a cup and cup feed and other times they may need to be taught to suck. (A friend had to use a finger pushed against her baby's palate before he/she would successfully latch on.

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18 comments

  1. cluster feeding means your milk isn't filling enough.

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  2. Short feeds mean they are not getting enough milk

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  3. I agree completely. People embarking on the breastfeeding journey should know that things may not go perfect, so they should expect a problem or two and are therefore less likely to give up. But also being aware of the practical positives is great. However this is all after a year plus experience so not sure I am thinking like a new mum anymore.

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  4. Breastmilk is not substantial enough! Complete nonsense!

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  5. No nutritional value after 6 months- rubbish!

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  6. Nothing I can think of?

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  7. As a peer supporter so many mums come to us saying they have had mastitis/thrush/blockages and their DR has advised them not to feed from the affected breast.....argh! this can cause such a disruption to the breastfeeding relationship and stress both mum and baby out so much.

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  8. That formula is better than breast milk?! Yes, that's why formula companies spend millions trying to copy it, and they are still no where near!

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  9. You'll spoil your baby by nursing them every time they cry.

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  10. That bottle feeding is easier. Yes it's hard and exhausting in the first few weeks when the baby wants fed constantly but when they are in a routine, it's a lot easier than heating up a bottle at 3am while your baby screams and wakes everyone up!

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  11. I have heard many older generation mums say that they could only feed till 3 or 4 months as they ran out of milk. I now know that these mums were told to feed on a schedule of every 4 hours, as soon as their babies got into a growth spurt or were just more hungry and cried before the 4 hour mark, they were told that didn't didn't have enough milk and to top up with formula. (my mum was one of them!)

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  12. I agree with every baby will instinctively know what to do. It took us a good few days to get going. He would latch on but not suck- he has it sussed now and is finished a feed in 10mins (greedy thing)

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  13. That 'you might not produce enough milk' (said by a paediatrician who failed to notice my daughter's tongue tie, amongst other idiocies) is very rarely actually true...

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  14. I was told in hospital to only breast feed every 3 hours...I told the midwife she wasnt right and fed when ever he showed signs that he wanted it.

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  15. That formula was as good as breast milk!

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  16. I was told by my postnatal community MW that I should feed him for 20 mins on each side every 3 hrs then top him up with bottle! I'm not kidding.

    I personally don't mind if my baby uses me as a human dummy, I let him suck even if he's not hungry but just wants comforting rather than offering him something else.

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  17. Bubby D is proof of your first point! One evening of fun and there I was pregnant again ;)

    Lots of great myths there, enjoyed reading thank you x

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  18. I've heard so many people say that you shouldn't let a baby comfort suck and should give a dummy instead. I always remind myself and them that breasts were around long before dummies.

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Thank you for taking time to read my post, I try to reply to every comment but sometimes this is not possibly (nappies first, chat later!) if you need a fast response from me check out my Facebook page or tweet me @mummieswaiting.
Jade x