Breastfeeding myths are everywhere…so beware.
If you are planning on breastfeeding your baby, more than likely you’re heard all kinds of stories and read multiple conflicting articles. Unfortunately, there are so many breastfeeding myths out there…so it is important to know the truth.
Anti-Breastfeeding Vs. The Truth about Breastfeeding
Some of the myths about breastfeeding seem to be from an anti-breastfeeding standpoint. There are some people who just don’t believe that women should breastfeed or breastfeed for very long even though that is literally what breasts are made to do! Literally every mammal on the planet feeds their young this way!
Some of the myths are actually from well-meaning people who just simple don’t know better and believe what others have told them. That is not an effort to deceive new moms, but instead just a show of ignorance.
Still others (falsely) believe that “Fed is Best” and that “Breast is Best” is a myth even though study after study (and even formula companies admit!) that breastfeeding is the optimal way to feed a child. Anything else is just a substitute. However, because of this idea, many people will encourage moms to quit if they struggle at all.
Instead of believing all the breastfeeding myths, we hope that you can learn the truth about breastfeeding problems, solutions and benefits so you can make the best decisions for you, your child and your family.
Breastfeeding Myths and Truths Moms Should Know
Here are some of the most common myths and the truth about them to help you know what you really need to know about breastfeeding.
Myth #1 – Bottle Feeding is Easier than Breastfeeding
The Reality: This is really not true. While getting used to breastfeeding in the beginning may be a more little difficult, it gets easier with time. By the time a baby is a few months old, it is generally a breeze and sooooooooooo much easier than making bottles all the time!
Think about this…a screaming baby in the middle of the night only screams louder as you attempt to make a bottle. A breastfeeding mom can simply pick up the child and the food is ready to go and just the right temperature. If the baby sleeps next to you, you wouldn’t even have to get out of bed!
Myth #2 – Breastfeeding will Cause Your Breasts to Sag
The Reality: No need to worry. Your breasts are not going to start sagging if you breastfeed. Usually there are various factors that can lead to sagging, and it is not breastfeeding that causes it and is not going to cause sagging.
Myth #3 – Breast Milk Doesn’t Have Enough Iron for Your Baby
The Reality: Breast milk is hand-down the best food for your baby. It even changes as your baby grows!
This is one of the most common breastfeeding myths. However, there is just the right amount of iron for your baby in breast milk and it absorbs better that the iron in formula or other foods. In some cases, formulas actually have too much iron and cannot be properly absorbed by your baby’s body. It can even stain their teeth!
Myth #4 – Formulas are About the Same as Breast Milk
The Reality: This is not even close to true (see recent studies). While they are always trying to change formulas to be a bit more like breast milk, they do not have many important things, such as living cells, hormones, antibodies, and enzymes, that breast milk has.
Also, formulas can contain too much iron, aluminum, cadmium, manganese, and protein as well and are harder for your little one to digest!
Myth #5 – You Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol When Breastfeeding
The Reality: This is just another one of the breastfeeding myths that scare new moms! the truth is…as long as the alcohol intake is reasonable, it is perfectly fine. There is very little alcohol that will end up coming out in the milk, so this is fine for mother’s who are nursing. If you have an alcohol problem, by all means, avoid it. For the occasional drink, moms should not worry. For more information on how alcohol affects breastfeeding, click here.
Myth #6 – Women with Breast Implants Can’t Breastfeed
The Reality: There is absolutely nothing that has proven that breastfeeding with implants will cause any harm to the baby. In some cases, there can be a problem with the supply of milk, but women who have had implants in the past can still breastfeed their babies. Read a visitor’s story about breastfeeding after implants here…
Myth #7 – Physicians Know Everything about Breastfeeding
The Reality: Not true! Some doctors actually believe some of these breastfeeding myths themselves!
While there are some physicians that are well versed in breast feeding, many actually know very little. In fact, in medical school there is barely anything learned by doctors about breastfeeding. If you are in doubt about your doctor’s advice…get a second opinion.
Myth #8 – Nipple Confusion Doesn’t Exist
The Reality: Nipple confusion really does exist! We hear from moms all the time whose are exclusive pumping because a baby preferred a bottle.
You see babies who were bottle fed early in the beginning may refuse to breast feed. This is because it is actually easier for a baby to get milk from a bottle at first than from your breast. Introducing a bottle or pacifier once breastfeeding is well-established may help avoid the issue.
Myth #9 – Women Must Stop Breastfeeding When Pregnant
The Reality: Once again, this is just another of the common breastfeeding myths that is completely untrue!
You can still go on nursing your baby, even if you are pregnant. While some women find that their nipples become more sensitive and choose to stop, there is really no medical reason that you need to stop breastfeeding if you become pregnant again. For more information on nursing while pregnant…
Myth #10 – Extended Nursing is Abnormal and Bad for Children
The Reality: Believe it or not, in many cultures it used to be common for breastfeeding to last until children were 2-4 years of age. This does not lead to dependence on the mother; in fact, many seem to be more independent. Learn the benefits of extended breastfeeding here.
Myth #11 – You Can’t Dye Hair or Get a Perm When Breastfeeding
The Reality: You can dye your hair or get a perm if you like. This will in no way affect you breastfeeding your baby. I just might make mommy feel better…which is good for everyone!!!
Myth #12 – Women with Inverted or Flat Nipples Can’t Breastfeed
The Reality: This is absolutely untrue. You see, breastfeeding occurs within the breast, not just the nipples. Sure, prominent nipples make it quite a bit easier for the baby to latch on at first, but inverted nipples or even flat nipples can be used to successfully breastfeed. (Learn more about how to do it here…)
Myth #13 – Breastfeeding Twins is Too Hard to Try
In reality, it’s a lot easier to breastfeed your twins than to try to bottle feed them, as long as breastfeeding is working out well. Breastfeeding twins is not only possible, but can be a joy! Your body can do it! So can you. Visit our Breastfeeding Twins page for helpful tips!
Myth #14 – Pain When Breastfeeding is Normal
The Reality: At first there can be a bit of tenderness when you first start breastfeeding, there should not be pain. Any real pain that happens can be a problem with your baby latching on right. Pain is abnormal, so if you have pain that lasts more than a couple days, you may need to get it checked out.
Myth #15 – Many Women Don’t Have Enough Milk for Breastfeeding
The Reality: Actually, most women actually produce more milk than they really need to! However, if moms have low milk supply there are lots of options other than weaning including eating foods that help increase breast milk, power pumping and a whole list of ideas you can find here.
- Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?
- How to Fix Nipple Confusion in Babies
- How to Increase Milk Supply Fast