New Mums and Mums to be often search the internet gathering information and deliberating about the pros and cons of breastfeeding. There’s lots of breastfeeding advice out there and to be honest some of it’s good and some of it’s bad. It can feel like a minefield for first time parents.
There are also still issues in this country about successful breastfeeding and discrimination and equality for breastfeeding Mums, so there really needs to be more reliable help and advice for people wanting to breastfeed.
Where’s the Department of Health’s mainstream media campaign to promote breastfeeding? Things clearly still need to change to promote breastfeeding as the number one feeding choice for babies in the UK. If you’ve not seen my thoughts on this already, you can read some more over here about why bottle feeding will keep breastfeeding rates in the UK low.
I’ve wanted to share some things you may not have realised about breastfeeding. They were all news to me until very recently, and it’s myths like these that often lead Mothers to stop breastfeeding their babies. For example, I only recently learnt after reading an article from selfgrowth.com that it’s entirely possible to exercise while breastfeeding. I think I’m not alone when I say that most mothers don’t take the risk. As mentioned by SelfGrowth, it’s imperative though that you keep it to a moderate level of activity, as they say, “Studies have shown that lactic acid levels in breast milk increase significantly up to 90 minutes after maximum exercise”.
I hope this list helps you out when it comes to thinking about the pros and cons of breastfeeding:
‘I don’t have enough milk!’
It’s very rare for a Mother not to produce enough or any breast milk for their baby. There is a medical condition called Hypogalatica, but it is as rare as most other conditions or illness that effect the human body. Baby probably just needs breastfeeding more regularly to bring up the supply. It can be quite a shock to the system quite how much a newborn baby needs breastfeeding for any new mother, but stick with it, it does get easier.
‘A baby takes milk from the bottle easier than breastfeeding’
Babies are designed to breastfeed and they will learn how to do it. Taking milk from a bottle isn’t easier, it’s just requires different motions so baby can stop the flow and swallow.
‘I’ve had silicon implants so I won’t be able to breastfeed.’
Most woman who have had silicon implants can still breastfeed. Check with your healthcare professional about breastfeeding with silicon implants or any kind of surgery to the breasts as breastfeeding may still be possible.
‘Will I be able to breastfeed with inverted nipples?’
Yes, you will! The nipple is only the place where the milk comes out, the baby needs to suck on the areola to feed. You may find your baby draws the nipple out with the sucking motion they use for breastfeeding.
‘I have a bad diet, it’s best that I bottle feed!’
Your baby will still get all the nutrients he needs while breastfeeding unless you have a recognised deficiency in your diet. It’s worth eating a healthy diet for lots of reasons, mainly for your own well being. Formula milk is processed from cows milk and cows at best eat grass and not a lot more.
‘I eat a lot of greens, does it give my baby wind/colic?
No! We become gasey as a result of foods we can’t digest properly. If we can’t digest the food, it can’t be transferred to the blood and then converted into breast milk. In some cultures where breastfeeding is the main way of feeding a baby and they carry their children for the majority of the day there is no such term as colic or excessive infant crying.
The inspiration for this post was taken from ‘Breastfeeding Made Easy’ by Carlos Gonzalez published by Pinter & Martin which I’d strongly recommend for any breastfeeding mother. I have received a copy of this book for the purposes of providing a review which will feature later on the blog, but I am genuinely impressed by the knowledge and content it contains and ethos it promotes for breastfeeding mothers. If you are still deliberating about the pros and cons of breastfeeding this book is a great place to start.
If you have any concerns about breastfeeding and/or your baby’s health and well being always consult with your healthcare professional.