There is a lot of good, helpful, healthy information out there about breastfeeding. Websites like breastfeeding.ie, Cuidiu and La Leche League all provide support in information or meeting groups for mothers who are trying to breastfeed. But the internet can be a tricky place, and can sometimes discourage mother’s when they’re having a tough time.
Here at M&I we discuss breastfeeding, and separate the truth from myth.
Myth: Pain is normal
If the baby is latching properly there should be very little pain or soreness. That’s why it’s so important to talk to a lactation consultant while at the hospital and indeed, to join a breastfeeding group in the first few weeks after birth. Remember this is the first time trying this for you and your baby – it might take a few tries to get it right.
Myth: Breastfeeding provides birth control
Breastfeeding can act as birth control for the first few (around six) months after birth, but only:
- If the baby is breastfeeding only and not getting any formula
- You’re nursing baby every four to six hours
- Mum has not yet gotten her period again
But it is not foolproof, and if you don’t want to get pregnant again, it’s advised that you use protection when having sex.
Myth: Breastfeeding makes your breasts droop
Unfortunately, it’s pregnancy that causes your breasts to change, not nursing. The breasts usually double in size and weight during pregnancy, putting strain on the muscles and causing them to droop when they revert back to their pre-pregnancy size.
Myth: Comfort feeding will make the baby clingy
Babies are like adults – we all have different temperaments. Whether you feed your baby formula or breast milk, it shouldn’t have an effect on your baby’s temperament.
Myth: Breastfed babies won’t take to a bottle
While it’s true that introducing a bottle during the early stages of breastfeeding can cause nipple confusion, most breastfed babies are able to swap easily between breast and bottle from about six weeks.
Myth: You should toughen up your nipples before breastfeeding
No way! Be kind to your nipples – they’re sensitive enough as it is! Any ‘toughening’ during pregnancy can cause soreness and tenderness on already stretched thin skin. Nipple cream can be applied in the third trimester to keep nipples soft and supple.
If you have any concerns about breastfeeding, don’t hesitate to contact one of the support groups named and linked above, or your healthcare provider.
Originally posted 2017-06-26 17:35:03.