National breastfeeding week: the myths

The biggest myth or misconception is that it’s easy. It’s not. Even if you’ve Breastfed your previous child(ren). You have to relearn and your child needs to learn. At first it’s hard, then there are times when it’s hard again, when things change, weight, routine, sleep, teeth. If you know it’s going to be hard sometimes you’ll be more ready (and don’t forget that support).

Myth no. 2 Breastfed babies feed all the time. Some do, some don’t. Like all babies each one is different. Some babies feed at the same schedule as a bottle fed baby but are so efficient that they only feed for 5/10 mins each feed. So that’s another myth busted-that they take ages to feed.

You can’t get a breastfed baby in a routine if you are feeding on demand. You can. Or rather they can. Write down each day when they feed, you’ll see a pattern emerging which is their routine, they’ll do it for you, get in their own routine.

Breastfed babies don’t sleep through the night. They do. Not all, like not all bottle fed babies do. It’s the luck of the draw. With a very bad sleeper as my first child I was desperate to get him to sleep longer and lots of people told me to give him a bottle (which I did) or give him baby rice in a bottle (which I didn’t) to ‘fill him up’. Needless to say it didn’t work and was abandoned swiftly. I quickly learnt some children are long sleepers, others aren’t. Just accept it. Eventually they’ll sleep longer. I’ve known friends who’s breastfed babies have slept through early and with my second he’s six weeks and has started sleeping 5 hours, something my first son didn’t do until 6 months.

Another myth, Breast milk doesn’t fill them up. Of course it does. It’s what it was made for. It just gets digested quicker than formula.

And another…Breastfeeding hurts. It absolutely shouldn’t. If it does get help and support.

One of the worst I’ve heard…You have to stop feeding when they get teeth or they’ll bite you. No you don’t! They might not bite you at all. If they do its important not to pull them off or react. Pull them in instead, closer, don’t react as they will then think its a game. Because feeding is with the jaw not gums you shouldn’t even notice teeth.

The ultimate myth- Breastfeeding will make you a good mother. No it won’t. Being happy and content will make you a good mother. Being a good mother makes you a good mother. And anyway no one is perfect. Lots of people have their own views but I firmly believe if breastfeeding is too stressful for you or too painful and you can’t get it right or if it freaks you out or it’s too demanding physically or mentally for you and you’ve tried and got lots of support but it still isn’t working out then what you decide is up to you. As long as you do what is best for both you and your baby you are doing the right thing. Don’t compromise your happiness as it will make you miserable and ultimately affect your baby too. I know some people won’t agree, that’s fine, I’m not debating that. I’ve seen people beat themselves up over feeding and yes, breast is best but it comes a point when happiness is best.

Feeding should be enjoyed, this isn’t a myth it’s a fact. It’s a time just the two of you. It’s natural, good for you both and is convenient. Feeding your baby is a wonderful special time.

My posts the past week about breastfeeding have been part of the scavenger hunt 2013. Other bloggers who’ve taken part are:
Faded Seaside Mamma
The Mummy Adventure
Life, love and living with boys
Red rose mummy

And there are some great companies involved if you want to visit them including…
Breast vest
Barefoot books
Baba sling

The rules of the Scavenger Hunt are here, but simply read and comment on any of the blogs joining in and register using the rafflecopters or other commenting to gather entries and points to win the grand prize…

You can gain an entry to my competition for today by going to this link:
the scavenger hunt

6 thoughts on “National breastfeeding week: the myths

  1. 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.

  2. I don’t consider any of them to be benefits as they are the baseline level of health for humanity; the default. Formula-fed children are at higher risk of disease etc, it’s not that breastfed ones are healthier; they are just normal.

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