Debunking Breastfeeding Myths
This week is world breastfeeding week!
As a mother who breastfed her child for the best part of a year, I know that breastfeeding can be hard enough without all the issues that come with it, such as mastitis, teething etc. There are a lot of breastfeeding myths circulating on the internet. I was left wondering so many things about breastfeeding after birth and I usually turned to Facebook groups or Google to help me through them. No matter how prepared we are to breastfeed, there will always be things we aren’t prepared for. So here are things I wish I knew during my breastfeeding journey.
Your baby only has a tiny tummy when they are born, so your colostrum will be enough! Your milk can take up to five days to come in, so don’t think because you are hardly leaking or cannot feel any milk in your boobs, that your baby isn’t getting enough! The idea that a baby gets hungry so soon after birth is one of the biggest breastfeeding myths going!
Pumping means nothing!
If you’re only getting half an ounce of milk out when pumping, don’t think that your baby is only getting half an ounce. A baby’s sucking is SO much more effective than pumping! If your baby is content, gaining weight and gifting you with plenty of wet and dirty nappies then you don’t need to worry!
You may think because you are wearing the most expensive breast pad, you won’t leak through it. Oh how wrong you are. I will always remember being in a cafe, breastfeeding my daughter and leaking through 2 breast pads and a muslin cloth and soaking my top! So be sure to keep spare tops and nursing bras handy!
Pain is a breastfeeding myth!
At the start, your boobs might hurt a little. Your nipples are getting used to a tiny human latching – or learning to latch – which can cause a bit of sensitivity if it wasn’t plain sailing. When your milk comes in you might get a little engorged which will make your breasts ache. The pain shouldn’t ever be severe and it does go very quickly. If the pain is unbearable or getting worse it may be worth mentioning to your GP or a Lactation Consultant.
Definitely not one of our breastfeeding myths. You definitely need snacks, you will get hungry when feeding! Try and keep snacks and a bottle of water in your feeding area. This is particularly handy for when baby is cluster feeding and not letting you move for food!
Crying over spilt milk!
Ignore the saying ‘There’s no point crying over spilt milk’, because there is. Imagine finishing up with pumping, turning to grab something and then knocking over the whole bottle of milk. Whether it is 1 Oz or 8ozs, it will always be super devastating.
Breast is best
No, no it’s not. Breastmilk is nutritionally ideal, yes, but only if there are no significant external factors. I have friends who tried everything and anything to get their baby to feed and with no success, they turned to formula. Whether the reason be a tongue tie, traumatic birth or general lack of support, what truly matters is that baby is fed and both mother and baby are happy, safe and well. If breastfeeding didn’t work out for you, do not put yourself down. You are still an amazing mummy, no matter how baby is fed.