Busting some breastfeeding myths during World Breastfeeding Week 2017
Taken from NHS Choices and shared by Laura from Ecopipo UK
On reflection of World Breastfeeding Week 2017 I wish I could have got the help that is now available for new mums that want to breastfeed.
I was an oddity when I tried to breastfed my daughter a number of years ago and probably the words that I will never forget from that experience, were what a midwife told another midwife, she loudly said that they needed to prepare for a long, long night as another girl and me had decided to breastfed, this is 2 out of 32 mums, OMG only 6.25%. Therefore reading that more than 73% of women in the UK start breastfeeding is fantastic news!
Of course there is still work to do to increase the percentage of mums who exclusively breastfed their babies at three months and at 6 months! I hope that sharing these myths encourages mums to breastfeed. By the way, I always said to my friends that my breast went saggy at the 8th month of pregnancy, well before I gave birth to my girl!!
Myth: “It’s not that popular in this country.”
Fact: More than 73% of women in the UK start breastfeeding, and 17% of babies are still being exclusively breastfed at three months.
Myth: “Breastfeeding will make my breasts sag.”
Fact: Breastfeeding doesn’t cause your breasts to sag, but pregnancy hormones can stretch the ligaments that support your breasts. Wear a well-fitting bra while you’re pregnant.
Myth: “People don’t like to see women breastfeeding in public.”
Fact: Most people don’t mind. The more it’s seen, the more normal it will become. The law protects women from being asked to leave a public space while breastfeeding.
Myth: “Formula milk is basically the same as breast milk.”
Fact: Almost all formula milk is made from cows’ milk. It can contain bacteria, which is why it’s vital to make it up with water hot enough to kill any bacteria (70C). It doesn’t protect your baby from infections and diseases like breast milk does.
Myth: “Some women don’t produce enough breast milk.”
Fact: Almost all women are physically able to breastfeed. Early, frequent feeding and responding to your baby’s cues give you the best start to establishing your supply.
Myth: “If I breastfeed I can’t have a sex life.”
Fact: There’s no reason why breastfeeding should stop you having sex with your partner. Your breasts may leak a little milk while you’re having sex, but you can try feeding your baby beforehand or wearing a bra with breast pads in. Your vagina may feel a little drier than usual because of your breastfeeding hormones. Using some lubricant and taking things slowly will help.
Myth: “Breastfeeding hurts.”
Fact: Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby and it shouldn’t hurt. If you experience pain in your breasts or nipples, it’s usually because your baby isn’t positioned or attached properly. Ask your midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist to watch a whole feed to help spot the problem.
Myth: “My nipples are flat or even inverted, so I won’t be able to breastfeed.”
Fact: Nipples come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Holding your baby skin-to-skin after birth will help them find the best way to attach themselves. Your baby breastfeeds, not nipple feeds, so as long as they can get a good mouthful of breast they should be able to feed perfectly happily.
Myth: “Babies don’t need breast milk once they start solid foods at about six months.”
Fact: Breastfeeding still has lots of benefits for you and your baby after six months. It protects them from infections and there’s some evidence that it helps them to digest solid foods. It also continues to provide the balance of nutrients they need. The World Health Organisation recommends that all babies are breastfed for up to two years or longer.
If you have got a breastfeeding question contact Start4Life for a trusted NHS advice anytime, day or night.