Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Breastfeeding Myths

1. A breastfeeding mother has to be obsessive about what she eats. Not true!
2. A breastfeeding mother has to eat more in order to make enough milk. Not true!
3. A breastfeeding mother has to drink lots of fluids. Not true!
4. A mother who smokes is better not to breastfeed. Not true!
5. A mother should not drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Not true! Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. (How ever I do not agree with anyone drinking while pregnant or breastfeeding.)
6. A mother who bleeds from her nipples should not breastfeed. Not true!
7. A woman who has had breast augmentation surgery cannot breastfeed. Not true!
8. A woman who has had breast reduction surgery cannot breastfeed. Not true!
9. Premature babies need to learn to take bottles before they can start breastfeeding. Not true!
10. Babies with cleft lip and/or palate cannot breastfeed. Not true!
11. Women with small breasts produce less milk than those with large breasts. Nonsense!
12. Breastfeeding does not provide any protection against becoming pregnant. Not true!
13. Breastfeeding women cannot take the birth control pill. Not true!
14. Breastfeeding babies need other types of milk after six months. Not true!


1. Many women do not produce enough milk. Not true!
2. It is normal for breastfeeding to hurt. Not true!
3. There is no (not enough) milk during the first three or four days after birth. Not true!
4. A baby should be on the breast 20 (10, 15, 7.6) minutes on each side. Not true!
5. A breastfeeding baby needs extra water in hot weather. Not true!
6. Breastfeeding babies need extra vitamin D. Not true!
7. A mother should wash her nipples each time before feeding the baby. Not true!
8. Pumping is a good way of knowing how much milk the mother has. Not true!
9. Breastmilk does not contain enough iron for the baby's needs. Not true!
10. It is easier to bottle feed than to breastfeed. Not true!
11. Breastfeeding ties the mother down. Not true!
12. There is no way to know how much breastmilk the baby is getting. Not true!
13. Modern formulas are almost the same as breastmilk. Not true!
14. If the mother has an infection she should stop breastfeeding. Not true!
15. If the baby has diarrhea or vomiting, the mother should stop breastfeeding. Not true!
16. If the mother is taking medicine she should not breastfeed. Not true!


1. Women with flat or inverted nipples cannot breastfeed. Not true!
2. A woman who becomes pregnant must stop breastfeeding. Not true!
3. A baby with diarrhea should not breastfeed. Not true!
4. Babies will stay on the breast for two hours because they like to suck. Not true!
5. Babies need to know how to take a bottle. Therefore a bottle should always be introduced before the baby refuses to take one. Not true!
6. If a mother has surgery, she has to wait a day before restarting nursing. Not true!
7. Breastfeeding twins is too difficult to manage. Not true!
8. Women whose breasts do not enlarge or enlarge only a little during pregnancy, will not produce enough milk. Not true!
9. A mother whose breasts do not seem full has little milk in the breast. Not true!
10. Breastfeeding in public is not decent. Not true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11. Breastfeeding a child until 3 or 4 years of age is abnormal and bad for the child, causing an overdependent relationship between mother and child. Not true! Breastfeeding for 2-4 years was the rule in most cultures since the beginning of human time on this planet. Only in the last 100 years or so has breastfeeding been seen as something to be limited. Children nursed into the third year are not overly dependent. On the contrary, they tend to be very secure and thus more independent. They themselves will make the step to stop breastfeeding (with gentle encouragement from the mother), and thus will be secure in their accomplishment.
12. If the baby is off the breast for a few days (weeks), the mother should not restart breastfeeding because the milk sours. Not true!
13. After exercise a mother should not breastfeed. Not true!
14. A breastfeeding mother cannot get a permanent or dye her hair. Not true!
15. Breastfeeding is blamed for everything. True! Family, health professionals, neighbours, friends and taxi drivers will blame breastfeeding if the mother is tired, nervous, weepy, sick, has pain in her knees, has difficulty sleeping, is always sleepy, feels dizzy, is anemic, has a relapse of her arthritis (migraines, or any chronic problem) complains of hair loss, change of vision, ringing in the ears or itchy skin. Breastfeeding will be blamed as the cause of marriage problems and the other children acting up. Breastfeeding is to blame when the mortgage rates go up and the economy is faltering. And whenever there is something that does not fit the "picture book" life, the mother will be advised by everyone that it will be better if she stops breastfeeding.

YET MORE AND MORE MYTHS!( Still think you can't breastfeed?)

1. Nursing mothers cannot breastfeed if they have had X-rays. Not true!
2. Breastfeeding mothers' milk can "dry up" just like that. Not true!
4. Pediatricians, at least, know a lot about breastfeeding. Not true!
5. Formula company literature and formula samples do not influence how long a mother breastfeeds. Really? So why do the formula companies work so hard to make sure that new mothers are given these samples, their company's samples? Are these samples and the literature given out to encourage breastfeeding? Do formula companies take on the cost of the samples and booklets so that mothers will be encouraged to breastfeed longer? The companies often argue that, if the mother does give formula, they want the mother to use their brand. But in competing with each other, the formula companies also compete with breastfeeding. Did you believe that argument when the cigarette companies used it?
6. Breastmilk given with formula may cause problems for the baby. Not true!
7. Babies who are breastfed on demand are likely to be "colicky". Not true!
8. Mothers who receive immunizations (tetanus, rubella, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, etc.) should stop breastfeeding for 24 hours (3 days, 2 weeks). Not true!
9. There is no such thing as nipple confusion. Not true!



Marie said...

I'm just wondering if you have a quotable source for this one:

Only in the last 100 years or so has breastfeeding been seen as something to be limited.

I'm reading a book which (for reasons that have nothing to do with discouraging breastfeeding) claims that on-cue, as-long-as-it-takes breastfeeding hasn't been common in Western culture.

Would love to read opposing views.


JQ said...

Hmmm, that is interesting, are you, by any chance reading "Milk, Money and Madness"? I'm not sure I know the answer to your question, but I think there may be some information in that book. :)

Marie said...

No, actually it is Parenting for a Peaceful World. I think it says some important things, but I'm not sure if the research is broad enough (and the author seems to me to have certain axes to grind).

Hadewisa said...

Maybe you are interested in this site.

Small Breasts, does size really matter?

I wish you´ll like it and it´ll be useful for you. Regards.

mommykerrie said...

OMG! Finally someone tells it like it is! I've been nursing for 7 1/2 years straight and have broken many "rules" ... good for you!

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