Breastfeeding Myths

The following is a list of advice that was given to me during my pregnancy regarding what I had to look forward to as a breastfeeding mom. I have quickly learned that these are all myths. Apparently there are many myths associated with breastfeeding. These myths are a discouragement to new moms that may wish to breastfeed and are experiencing difficulty in doing so. There is nothing wrong with a mom who chooses to not breastfeed her baby either because she is not able to or for whatever other reasons there may be. If she formula feeds her baby she is still a great mom. After all, her baby is being fed right. However, a new mom should still receive encouragement to breastfeed her baby. 

So here is the list advises that were given to me. Each one is followed by what I actually and personally experienced.

1. It will be very painful.

There may be some tenderness for the first few days. If there is pain it is mostly always due to the baby not latching on properly. Now labour, that was painful.

2. You will need to prepare your nipples by toughening them up.

Pregnancy prepares the breasts to get them ready for breastfeeding. There is no need to start pinching your nipples or rubbing a towel over them.

3. Your baby will need extra fluids especially in hot weather.

Breast milk provides a baby with all the fluid it needs. Actually giving water or other fluids to a breastfed baby may contribute to a decrease in milk production. The saying goes the more your baby breast feeds the more milk you produce.

4. You will have to sleep in a separate bedroom from your husband because neither of you will get any sleep during the night.
I cannot see how there can be any truth to this as there is no need to get up during the night preparing bottles of formula. We actually co-sleep with our baby. When baby wakes up I feed him and then sleep again. All without having to get out of bed. Even if the baby woke hubby up with his crying, any money saved by not having to buy formula should be compensation enough.

5. When your baby gets teeth you may need to stop due to his biting.

A breastfed baby does not get teeth and all of a sudden turn into a vampire. My son has bit down a few times. However after I remove his mouth from my breast he gets the idea. This may have happened just two or three times and has not occurred since.

6. A mother should wash her nipples each time before feeding the baby
Washing nipples before each feeding makes breastfeeding unnecessarily complicated and washes away protective oils from the nipple.

Other myths associated with breastfeeding:

1. Babies should be breastfed on a strict schedule.
2. Breastfeeding ties the mother down.
3. Your breast will become saggy and lose their shape.
4. Moms have to stop eating dairy, seafood, caffeine, and other foods.
5. Many women do not produce enough milk.
6. Breast milk is useless and contains no benefit for babies after six months or one year. 
7. A mother who is ill should not breastfeed.
8. If a mother smokes she should not breastfeed.
9. You cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding. 
10. Breastfeeding is inconvenient

11. Women who breastfeed can’t safely lose weight until their babies are weaned.

12. Formula is as good as breast milk.

13. If the baby has diarrhea or vomiting, the mother should stop breastfeeding.

14. Physicians know a lot about breastfeeding.

15. Breastfeeding in public requires that a woman’s breasts be exposed.

16. It is difficult to breastfeed successfully.

17. Breast milk does not contain enough iron for the baby's needs.

18. If babies feed a lot, that means they aren't getting enough milk.

19. Giving the breast a nursing ‘rest’ can help ensure more milk.

20. It is easier to bottle feed than to breastfeed.

21. Formula-fed babies sleep better.

22. Nursing babies shouldn't take an occasional bottle or they may become 
confused and stop feeding.

23. A mother who bleeds from her nipples should not breastfeed. 

24. Never wake a sleeping baby to breastfeed.

25. Babies with cleft lip and/or palate cannot breastfeed. 

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27 May 2013 at 01:21 delete

Following back from Mom's Monday Mingle!

Happy Memorial Day!


30 May 2013 at 00:58 delete

Great post! It's funny how many myths there are about breastfeeding. I co sleep with my little guy as well (i did with my older 2 boys as well) I find it so much easier when your nursing : )

30 May 2013 at 15:04 delete

Well, I agree with most of these myths. But breastfeeing did make my breast saggy :( and it was very diffcult for me. I wrote a whole post on how hard it was for me.

30 May 2013 at 20:55 delete

Thank you Nicole :)
Co-sleeping definitely makes it easier.

30 May 2013 at 21:21 delete

Thank you Shannon for your reply :)
I am sorry to hear about your difficulty with breastfeeding. I read your post and left a comment there as well.

6 June 2013 at 01:19 delete

wow, it's hard to believe these topics are still coming up about breastfeeding! they're so old fashioned!!! I b/f all my babies (5) and never had issues.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Following back :)

25 June 2013 at 19:23 delete

Thank you Melanie :)
I think sometimes the society we live in makes it difficult for some new mothers. Also the lack of support from family, friends and health staff.
However with the technology available today especially online resources and support breastfeeding should come easier, in my opinion anyway.

22 March 2014 at 03:14 delete

Great post! I've been breastfeeding since 2001 (5 kids),tandem at times, while pregnant, nonstop. My youngest is about to stop and I am so sad!

22 March 2014 at 03:14 delete

P.S. I had flat nipples when I began. And with my 5th I was VERY sick and milk was not coming. I pushed through and did it anyway.