5 lies about breastfeeding

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  1. If you’re doing it right, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.
  • What a load of bollox. At what other point in your life have you had a ferociously chomping mouth clamped hard onto your already over sensitive nipple for up to an hour at a time? Ok, don’t answer that…but unless you are one of the lucky few, it hurts like fuck. Yes, even when the latch is correct. Midwives, health visitors, lactation consultants and “breastfeeding buddies” (wtf), all told me that if my baby was latched on correctly then breastfeeding wouldn’t hurt. Until I was one week in, toes still curling and tears still falling with every feed and my midwife had to agree that my daughters latch was correct and “some women are just more sensitive than others” or in other words it hurts like fuck.
  1. Breastfeeding is easier than bottle feeding.
    • Ah yes. This old peach. And by peach, I mean lie. For the first two weeks after giving birth you are exhausted, hormonal and slightly desperate/wild. You need rest and plenty of it. Well if you are breastfeeding then you can forget it because you are the only one with the tits and you are suddenly expected to transform into a prize Jersey milker for your hungry little new addition. 24/7, on demand, no rest allowed. That’s in addition to mastering the correct latch, working through the pain and bleeding nips (see lie number 1), and worrying about where the hell your milk is after three days of squeezing your tits for a few tiny drops of precious colostrum. Worse still, when your period of grace is over and everyone has forgotten you have just given birth and you are expected to be “normal” again, you still have to feed your little darling on demand and you are still the only person who can do it. That means every night feed and even when you are sick with the flu or running a 40degree fever with mastitis. You can of course express your milk for someone else to feed the baby and give you a break. That’s if you are going to sit and milk your own udders for 45 mins into a  bottle or cup you had to sterilise only for the baby to refuse to actually drink from it and scream blue bloody murder until you can’t stand it any longer and you pull yourself out of bed/bath to pacify them with, yes you guessed it, the boob that was having a supposed rest. And breathe.
    • You also have to feed out in public unless you want to become a hermit. Despite what the breastapo preach, most women I’ve met prefer to do this discreetly without having to give the rest of Costa Coffee a side order of lactation. Seriously though you need to be some sort of contortionist to feed discreetly. Wrestling with a small, wriggling, screaming person whilst simultaneously undoing your (frankly hideous) nursing bra, moving your top out of the way, trying to cover up with a shawl/scarf/wrap and hold your boob in position for the all important good latch is no mean feat. Making a few bottles up doesn’t look so difficult and no one has to take their clothes off.

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  1. Breastfeeding helps you lose weight.
    • Apparently you can burn up to 500 calories a day if you are exclusively breastfeeding on demand. And you will be eating 3000 more than that because it makes you ravenously hungry and the biscuit tin becomes your new best friend.
  2. Breastfed babies shouldn’t be given dummies as it causes nipple confusion.
    • I never found this to be the case and neither did any of my mummy friends. It may be true for some babies but there is no harm in trying them with a dummy. In the middle of the night when you have been feeding for three hours straight or when you absolutely have to leave the house for an urgent appointment you may find that dummy to be a lifesaver.
  3. You can’t get pregnant whilst breastfeeding.
    • I am living proof that this is an outright lie (sorry mum). Inexplicably, and rather cruelly, you are fertile from the minute you have given birth. You would think that our bodies would stage some sort of protest for at least a few months after such an ordeal but no. Still, if you keep eating biscuits, nobody will shag you anyway.

So there we have it, 5 lies people will tell you if you are thinking about breastfeeding. It is of course also incredible and completely worthwhile. Nothing worth doing was ever easy. Plus, seeing as you are doing all the milking/feeding business, it should be Dad’s duty to deal with those shitty nappies. Silver linings and all that.

 

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4 Comments

  1. March 17, 2016 / 12:10 am

    I’m just about to reach the 12 month point of breastfeeding. I can honestly say it got easier as time went on. Those first 4 weeks were shit though in all honesty and then the next 8 weeks after that were pretty rough as well. Then just when you nail it and are confident to whip the boob out, the monsters want to start eating food instead. pah! Oh, and baby Bomber had a dummy and it caused no confusion. I would be sectioned if it wasn’t for that dummy.

    • March 17, 2016 / 4:18 am

      Well done you!! It’s so hard to begin with. I wrote this post about three weeks in and now (10 weeks in) it is so much easier, but no less tiring. I’ve actually found some things I enjoy about it too, but that’s for another post 🙂 thanks for visiting my blog X

  2. April 14, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    Haha, I agree with everyone of these! I’m only 3 weeks in but I can’t count how many times I’ve googled “should breastfeeding hurt?” Formula is looking more and more tempting…I’m going to give it a few more weeks see if it settles down but I do think all the things you’ve said in your post are the things they seem to keep a secret until after you have the baby!

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