4 Common Breastfeeding Myths Debunked

Breastfeeding is wonderful. Breastfeeding is hard.

It’s a skill unlike anything you will have learnt before. The minute it’s needed, it’s a life-giving necessity. It requires the co-operation of a partner who has no understanding of language and can’t even make a conscious body movement. And you’re expected to tackle this BEHEMOTH when you’ve just been through the trauma of birth, your body is flooded with hormones and you’re barely surviving on about 3 hours of sleep.

Breastfeeding Benefits

But breastfeeding is an invaluable investment in your child’s life (as well as having some excellent benefits for yourself).

For your infant, breastfeeding reduces the risk of things like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. For you, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

With all this in mind, I just wanted to debunk a few breastfeeding myths that might be causing some new mummies to worry, or putting off some mummies-to-be from trying.

How you feed your baby is your choice, but don’t give up because of an untruth that is being banded around.

Breastfeeding baby's hand in mine

Debunking The Myths

Feeding Regularity

Breastfed babies might feed more frequently than formula-fed ones, but that doesn’t mean they’re not getting enough of what they need. The following reasons are much more likely:

  • it means they’re only taking as much as they need at each feed rather than being forced to drain the bottle
  • it means they’re enjoying being close to you
  • it means they’re having food which is more baby-friendly and so it doesn’t take as long for them to digest it
  • it means they’re having a growth spurt so they need more nutrition
  • it means they’re poorly and need your antibodies to help fight the infection

There is no point in pretending it is easy because it isn’t. My 2nd baby fed EVERY SINGLE HOUR through the first 4 nights and I was totally ready to give up, but this stage doesn’t last forever.

breastfeeding baby

Ask The Experts

You would think that midwives and health visitors would be the place to go for support, but this is not always the case. They may know the theory, but you need to speak to someone who has actually breastfed. There is a whole world of difference from knowing the steps to actually getting your baby to latch correctly (take a look at my personal breastfeeding story on My Petit Canard’s #BreastfeedingStories).

The Feeding Position

Breastfeeding is almost always portrayed with the baby laying across the mother’s tumbreastfeeding welcome symbolmy, embraced in her arms. Even the ‘breastfeeding welcome’ symbol is as such. But you are not limited to this position and it is very much a trial-and-error process. My daughter struggled to feed on the left breast, so we adopted a rugby ball hold to do that side. It didn’t look conventional but it worked for us.

The Pain

The classic sign that the baby isn’t latched correctly is pain in the nipples, right? Well not necessarily. I would certainly get a proper breastfeeding counsellor to check this one first, BUT pain isn’t always a sign of a bad latch.

I fed my first baby for 18 months, so was pretty confident that I’d know what to do when baby 2 came along, yet my nipples still became sore and cracked. Thankfully, I saw a very experienced midwife who said that, in her experience, it can take time for the nipples to get used to the pressure they’re suddenly under. And, sure enough, after 3 weeks, without altering the latch or technique, the pain stopped.

For more first-hand breastfeeding stories, I must recommend My Petit Canard’s #breastfeedingstories guest blog series. Many of the parenting bloggers I know have contributed to it (including myself) and it gives you a real insight into the good, the bad, and the ugly of breastfeeding.

To find out how a Muslin Cloth could be the answer to your public breastfeeding worries, as well as lots of other parenting tips, check out one of my most popular posts: 20 Life Hacks For Parents.

For more info about the benefits of breastfeeding, check out this infographic from Positive Health Wellness:

Benefits of Breastfeeding


Add yours
  1. 1

    When I first started breastfeeding I remember always googling how to tell if baby was getting enough milk because he was a milk fiend always looking to feed, turns out it is completely normal like you say, a growing little boy who just loves his mama and his milk! Still does! 🙂 I love breastfeeding posts good tip for the petite canard! #marvmondays

  2. 3

    This is all so true. I remember those painful first few days as my milk started to come in, we struggled with latching on and after getting some advice and trying different positions we got it sorted. A rugby hold worked well for us as well. #marvmondays

  3. 5

    Yup! I was desperate to BF with my first and my god, was it difficult. He latched so well and fed amazingly so I felt so guilty when I gave up after 6 weeks as I struggled so much. Of course, I regretted it and then it was too late. I’m glad with #2 I have hindsight! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    • 8
      Lucy At Home

      I think sometimes just hearing from another mummy who has actually been there, rather than a health professional spouting all the stuff you already know, can make a real difference. Raising awareness, like you said. Thanks for commenting. L

  4. 9
    Life as Mum

    Love reading breastfeeding posts. I have been breastfeeding for 3 weeks tomorrow. First time! I didn’t breastfeed my other two children but really wanted to with my son. I am so glad I did. The pain oh my! But the pain has gone down alot thankfully.

  5. 11

    I remember the pain on day two of feeding my daughter! Oh god I wanted to rip her off my nipple it hurt so badly! I’m pregnant with number 3 and hoping that we can crack the breastfeeding this time!

    • 12
      Lucy At Home

      I don’t think anyone ever tells you how painful it can be! It really is agonising, and when they’re feeding so regularly (we were hourly for the first few days) it feels like you never get a chance to recover. Lansinoh’s Lanolin Cream was a godsend for me with aiding healing.

  6. 13
    Mom On Middle

    I have breastfed 3 out of 4 of my children, exclusively pumped for one and am about to do this while breastfeeding again in a few months. Despite my experience I am still nervous. The first child I breastfed I got a painful sore on my breast. I got a special cream from a local pharmacist and it went away. My last experience started off rough but we sorted it out. I was able to breastfeed and/or pump over a year+ with each. My whole point to this long comment is that it eventually all comes together if you stick with it. Going to have to remind myself of that with this next baby.

+ Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.