I recently had an opportunity to hear from a lovely group of women on breastfeeding. They shared their struggles, myths they had been taught and told positive, beautiful stories of love and life. Every journey looks different, some of us breastfeed, pump exclusively, use formula, receive donor milk or use a mix of formula and breast-milk and that’s okay! But rather than split hairs, now, is the time to come and support and empower each other as we find common ground as parents in this journey of love.
This blog post is just a small taste of the many myth and facts surrounding breastfeeding and I would be honored to hear YOUR thoughts in the comments below!
“Honestly the most frustrating misconception to me was, "he'll eat if he's hungry". Our loved one did not eat actually because he had a tongue tie which made it really hard for him to get enough so he wouldn't wake to eat and wasn't gaining weight for weeks so I woke him every 3 hours to eat. People said that to me over and over, so I felt crazy thinking he wasn't getting enough and for being so regimented, and hurt because that statement just isn't supportive at all.” W.E
“That it's easy. That the baby just knows how to latch, that you will automatically have enough milk always, that it won't ever hurt” MA
“The weight will just melt off . . . Not true for everyone!” J.L
“I'm nursing twins and there still isn't anything melting off!” B.B
“My weight melted off from postpartum thyroiditis and then as soon as it was diagnosed and corrected, weight came right back: despite very successful breastfeeding and a great supply!” K.Y
“I thought that the first two months was going to be the way it was forever. If I deviated from my routine of feeding from both breasts, the last one, first etc, it was going to be horrible. Now, I honestly just do a quick feel and feed from the fullest side, keeping in mind to make sure I'm feeding from both sides throughout the day, but not always so regimented.”
Painful Nursing & Pumping
“That it would be very painful. It wasn't for me!!” L.B
“I think I'm one of the lucky ones, baby boy and I figured out how to latch within a few days, and once my nipples healed from the initial cracking we've not had any pain.” J.C
“That everyone gets cracked and bleeding nipples and that it hurts and that is normal. Also that I would feel a certain feeling when my milk came in (I didn't feel anything besides them getting huge and was told my milk wasn't in until the Dr. said it definitely was)” H.U
“It's natural, and it won't hurt if you're doing it right. False. It will likely, at some point, be mildly excruciating, because your nipples have never had this much undivided attention (most likely, ahem). This, to me, is the absolute worst one because it leaves so many of us expecting virtually NO pain (or at worst, mild discomfort) and results in feelings of failure before we've hardly begun!” C.T
“While I'm not breastfeeding yet, just pumping for my little NICU preemie, my nipples have *definitely* had some "wait, what the heck are you doing to us" moments.” R.W
Myth “One that really scared me was that it could increase your risks of getting breast cancer. So happy I did research when I had children so I could breastfeed!” H.I
Fact “[Breastfeeding reduces risk of cancer] It's like hearing exercise will make you fat. Ha.” L.Z
Myth“That breastfeeding will interfere with the father's ability to bond with the baby” L.A
“If you try X it will make your milk production go up. Nope, you can do ALL THE THINGS and still not make enough.” S.B
“Ugh. So many. Here are my top 3:
Never wake a sleeping baby, he'll eat when he's hungry.
Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world - this one is very false and makes you feel like a true failure (especially with those postpartum hormones).
You don't have to/shouldn't pump in the beginning, just nurse, nurse, nurse and your supply will regulate appropriately- not for me and now I'm dealing with low supply issues.” C.D
“I started pumping on day 3 with a hospital grade pump. Still never made enough. Don't beat yourself up. It can make you crazy. My baby thrived once we started supplementing properly.” S.B
“That you are in control. After hitting our one year goal I realized it wasn't going to be up to me when we stopped!” N.P
“To chafe my nipples at the end of pregnancy to get them "toughened up" for nursing.” B.B
“That i wouldn't be able to nurse with my inverted nipples.” B.B
“That you don't have to burp baby when breastfeeding” D.A
For those looking for peer or professional breastfeeding, pumping or supplementing support visit come of our great local resources!
La Leche League of Salt Lake County
La Leche League of Utah County
La Leche League of Weber/Davis County
Motherfed: International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) located in Salt Lake City
Birth Journey Midwifery: Certified Midwife and IBCLC throughout the Salt Lake areas
Meghan’s Lactation Consulting: IBCLC serving the Salt Lake and Park City areas
~Alyssa Moulton is a Certified Hypno-doula who loves supporting her clients from pregnancy through the postpartum time. If you were to describe her in three words she would say calm, empowering and authentic. She is passionate about helping each client feel empowered and supported in their birthing decisions. When not serving as a Doula, Alyssa loves teaching youth and adult cooking classes from Healthy eating and meal planning to homemade pastries and baking themed birthday parties and loves seeing her student's learn new skills and feel empowered in the kitchen! She also hosts a bi-monthly Mom's Circle in Herriman as a way for Mom's to connect, grow and live in community with each other. Interested in learning more? Contact Alyssa for a free consultation. ~
Autumn Alyssa, CHD is a Birth and Postpartum Doula serving women and families from Bountiful to Provo in Davis, Salt Lake & Utah Counties