Busting myths about breastfeeding

June 26, 2014

Let’s Bust Some Myths About Breastfeeding

There are so many myths about breastfeeding. A subject about which there are multiple myths and misconceptions, discussed on many a noticeboard, Twitter conversation, and not least in my own head, pre-baby.

Breastfeeding benefits - list of the lesser-known best bits of nursing for babies and mums

But what’s true and what’s really, really not? Here’s some of the more interesting lifestyle myths I’ve encountered about breastfeeding:

Busting myths about breastfeeding - great list of misconceptions and tips (#3 is useful)

Eight Myths About Breastfeeding – Busted

Don’t you end up wearing baggy t-shirts the whole time? Clothes specifically designed with easy access for breastfeeding can be a lot nicer than you’d expect, like my lovely breastfeeding dress.

Breastfeeding myths

But if you want to adapt your existing wardrobe, just wear a vest underneath (top up, vest down, latch on). And there’s always stretchy tops, shirts, shirt dresses, tops with buttons and so on. I’m looking forward to wearing my Blooming Lovely pregnancy necklace post-birth as a good feeding distraction too.

Breastfeeding underwear is hideous It can be decidedly un-glamourous…but it doesn’t have to be. You want the Bravado Bliss and there’s even a leopard one. The Silk Seamfree bras come in lots of different colours and are the most comfortable thing ever. There’s also Hotmilk, Amoralia, Elle Macpherson’s breastfeeding range.

You can’t drink or have a social life when you breastfeed Really? Tactical power expressing and planning is what it’s all about. My first night out minus baby was at four months, with the NCT mums. I think I expressed about a week’s worth of milk beforehand. The NHS say it’s safe to drink about 1-2 units of alcohol a week when you’re breastfeeding (my father-in-law bought me a stash of mini wines for this purpose).  Don’t believe the ‘pump and dump’ myth, as your breastmilk levels are constantly changed by your body (you might want to do this for comfort though).  Of course, lots of people don’t drink, it’s an entirely personal choice. But it doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and have fun occasionally.

Breastfeed in public? Won’t people make negative comments / stare / throw you out of restaurants? I’ve had nothing but positive experiences of public breastfeeding despite feeding in most places, from train stations, to buses during rush hour, on the beach and out in pubs. Don’t ever be afraid to feed your hungry baby wherever you are – that’s the priority!

You spend all your time glued to the sofa Yes, but that’s maternity leave. You can also use the time to catch-up on social media while you’re breastfeeding; tweet other mums, blog, pin. Watch some great (or trashy) things on Netflix. Just remember to charge your phone and sit down with the TV remote and a drink (read some more of my breastfeeding hacks here).

Breastfeeding will make your boobs go south Had a baby? Then news flash, this will happen anyway (sorry). It’s why push-up bras were invented.

Long-term breastfeeding is…weird My favourite myth, because it’s one I thought and also the one I shattered my own illusions about. It’s completely untrue. I wrote about my experiences over on TalkMum yesterday. Breastfeeding beyond a year, two years, or whenever, is normal. Do what feels right for you and your baby.

You can’t eat cake Of course you can. Have at least two helpings a day. Promise?

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  • Ruth

    June 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Great post!

    I have bought some lovely breastfeeding tops on ebay, and LOVE them. Makes feeding so much easier in public places, no flashing here! And they look normal!

    Oh, and I would much rather feed my baby in public than have him cry. Crying gets more attention than bfing in public


  • gemma foster

    June 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    the drinking myth is a common one, I hardly drink…but when I was pregnant knowing you cant makes you want a drink more!! and odd glass here and there when breast feeding is lovely now.

  • laura redburn

    June 27, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    never heard a myth about not eating cake around breastfeeding! and that striped dress is so lovely.

  • Rebecca Phillips

    June 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    no, thankfully!

  • Leanne Lunn

    June 28, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I have always had very good information when it comes to breastfeeding thankfully

  • Pia Stephens

    June 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    The only thing I was told was that you can’t get pregnant while bf, well we busted that myth as started to expect our second little boy when our firstborn was 20 weeks old 😀

  • Jo Sandy

    June 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Not really heard anything that wasn’t true.

  • Hannah

    June 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Heard a few the other way one that sort of stuck was that women who breast feed lower their risk of osteoporosis and breast cancer in later life.

  • Julie Bellham

    June 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    The biggest ‘myth’ is that you should stop at 6 months!

  • Fiona Exley

    June 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Myth: you’ll lose weight! (I’ve been ebf for nearly 6 months now – am over a stone heavier than when I gave birth! Nobody told me I’d be ravenous all the time!!!)

  • Rosie

    June 28, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    That formula is sometimes necessary. Even if a baby cannot nurse direct from the mother, there are options such as expressed milk, wet nursing etc. And in a truly breastfeeding-friendly society, the mother’s breastmilk could be processed to be suitable even for babies with conditions such as phenylketonuria. Instead of processing cows’ milk for them.

  • lori

    June 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I remember the old pumping away so I could have a night out with girls. wow that all seems so long ago! x

  • Mouse

    June 28, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve never heard the cake myth!! And never really believed any of the others. However I definitely underestimated how hard it can be. Worth it all though! Thanks for this post. The timing is perfect for me and it’s great to know that you haven’t got any negative looks or comments breastfeeding in public. I’ve only done it once so far and it’s quite a strange feeling!

  • Kim Neville

    June 28, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    No I was given good advice

  • Candise Moore

    June 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    That you couldn’t satisfy a larger baby, my 10lb baby was satisfied for 24 weeks with my milk alone.

  • Anna R

    June 28, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    No myths luckily, unless you count people thinking that I couldn’t increase my milk supply when it had dropped & I needed formua 😛 . We showed them! Great article.

  • Robyn Logan Clarke

    June 29, 2014 at 12:29 am

    My sister in law told me it was a waste of time and takes too long.

  • Zoe

    June 29, 2014 at 11:44 am

    That I would have to stop when pregnant with no. 2!! Total myth – and tandem feeding for 8 weeks led to a really great relationship between my sons 🙂

  • Kate

    June 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    My hairdresser told me redheads can’t breastfeed!

  • Laura

    June 30, 2014 at 1:19 am

    These made me smile so much, I fed my little man till he was just past 2.5yrs. Unfortunately I did have a few negative experiences outside the home but I think that was more due to where we were living at the time (ver very low breastfeeding numbers). I can’t wait to feed the next one (when we have another one that is 🙂

    Laura x

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