Every mother has one major decision to make once they realize they will be bringing a little one into the world: either to breastfeed or bottlefeed. There are many other decisions that need to be made, but this one is a big deal. It needs to be decided before the baby arrives because a mother’s milk supply will dry up if the baby doesn’t use it. Once that window of opportunity passes it can be extremely difficult to produce a sufficient milk supply.
Figuring out whether to breastfeed or bottle feed can be tough, especially for first-time mothers. Some women already know which way they want to go, but for the mothers who are undecided, they could be getting a lot of mixed messages. Some mothers claim breastfeeding is easy because it comes naturally or that it doesn’t hurt, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Everyone is different and no two babies are going to be exactly the same, even if they are identical twins. If one mother finds something that works for her and her baby, it doesn’t mean that it will work for other mothers. Try to keep that in mind when making big decisions such as determining to breastfeed or to bottle feed. Keep reading to find out 20 lies moms tell about breastfeeding.
20 It’s Not "So Easy"
One lie many breastfeeding mothers tell is, “It’s so easy,” but this isn’t always the case. Some mothers actually find it extremely challenging. Many mothers seek help from a lactation consultant and even then, they still have trouble. One thing many mothers can agree on is that it does get easier as time goes on, but the beginning of the breastfeeding journey can be troublesome. Some babies have a hard time latching and some mothers have trouble producing a bountiful supply.
Having a good support system is always beneficial. You can talk to other breastfeeding mothers, get help from a lactation consultant and even join breastfeeding support groups. If you get tips from many different mothers the chances are higher for finding something that might work for you and your baby.
There are many mothers who want to breastfeed their baby, but they end up throwing in the towel. According to Mamanatural.com, “Data shows that the vast majority of women give up on exclusive breastfeeding before the six-month mark.” If you’re running into issues, try to find help so you can continue, if you wish to do so.
19 It Doesn't Just "Happen Naturally"
As everyone knows, breastfeeding is natural. You would think because it’s natural, it would happen naturally, but it’s not always that simple. If it always happened naturally and it was so easy, we wouldn’t need lactation consultants.
I chose to breastfeed my last two children. My first attempt at breastfeeding didn’t come naturally in the least bit. I took up way too much of the lactation consultant’s time, but luckily for me, she was very understanding.
It took some getting used to, but after a few weeks, it did get easier. With my last son, the breastfeeding did come naturally, but that could be because I already had experience with it. Many factors come to play in these situations. It could be easier with experience from a previous child and for some babies, it might be easier. One thing’s for sure, it doesn’t always happen naturally.
18 It Doesn’t "Not Hurt"
When breastfeeding mothers say it doesn’t hurt, I can’t help but think it’s a big fat lie. Breastfeeding can be extremely painful at times, especially in the beginning. As times goes on and you become accustomed to breastfeeding, the pain does subside.
Of course, it’s not painful all of the time or women wouldn’t want to do it, but that doesn’t mean there’s never any pain. I wouldn’t want anyone to think it’s so painful that it’s not worth it. There are ways to help prevent painful breastfeeding, such as keeping the area clean and feeding every two hours.
It is painful to nurse when you’re engorged, so it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t go too long between feedings. If the baby is sleeping and you feel like you’re filling up too fast, you can pump, which will also help you build up a backup supply for when you’re not with the baby. Keeping the area clean is very important to prevent mastitis or thrush, which can be excruciating.
17 The Baby Won't Always Be "Fed On A Schedule"
I have heard many women say babies that nurse will get on a set schedule, which makes it easier. This may be true for some mothers, but don’t get your hopes up. Neither of my children followed a schedule and all of my breastfeeding friends weren’t able to accomplish this either, but apparently, it is possible for some mothers. In the beginning, I felt like I was nursing my baby all day long. There were also many days where he would cluster feed, which can be very time-consuming.
Breastmilk digests at a faster rate than formula, so be prepared to feed the baby more often. According to KidsHealth, “Breastfed babies do need to eat more often than babies who take formula, because breastmilk digests faster than formula. This means mom may find herself in demand every 2 or 3 hours (maybe more, maybe less) in the first few weeks.”
If you do become one of the mothers who can get their baby to follow a schedule, consider yourself lucky.
16 Pumping Is Not "A Piece Of Cake"
Pumping is harder than most mothers claim it to be. It’s no walk in the park, that’s for sure. For many mothers, it’s necessary to learn how to pump. Some mothers go back to work after having a baby and if they decide to breastfeed, pumping will be mandatory. It’s a good idea to have a pump handy and learn how to use it even if you’re not planning to go back to work. There may come a time when you need to go somewhere without the baby or dad may want to be able to feed the baby sometimes.
Luckily, there are many resources available to provide assistance if you should need it. A lactation consultant can help and there are also many online support groups. Many women assume electric pumps are the way to go, but this is not always the best choice for every mother.
When I went back to work I had an electric pump. I had a difficult time with it and it wasn’t fast enough for me. I switched to a manual pump and I loved it! It was so much quicker and easier. If it’s not working out for you, try a different type of pump.
15 There’s No Such Thing As "An Endless Milk Supply"
Many mothers are misinformed and believe there is an endless milk supply when breastfeeding. There will be times when the milk is depleted, but no need to worry. The baby will usually continue to suckle, which helps to boost the milk supply. It’s a supply and demand system.
According to Parents.com, “It works on a supply-and-demand basis, supplying your baby with as much as he demands. It will even adjust as your baby goes through growth spurts or short periods when the baby is not drinking as much.”
To ensure you have a good supply, make sure you drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and nurse frequently. If you supplement with formula it can decrease your supply, so if you're planning on exclusively breastfeeding try to refrain from using formula. You can even pump in between feedings to give an extra boost to your supply.
14 It Doesn't Simply "Melt Away"
One of the worst lies moms say about breastfeeding is that it helps you bounce back quicker. This one is a tricky one because breastfeeding does make you burn more calories, but you also need to consume more calories to produce a healthy supply. It’s kind of like you’re still eating for two in a way.
According to Thebump.com, “Breastfeeding does burn extra calories, approximately 850 calories a day, to be exact. But losing weight while breastfeeding is rarely a given because breastfeeding makes moms hungrier. And hungry, sleep-deprived new moms tend to satisfy their cravings with simple carbohydrates.”
There’s also less time to exercise and even if there was, you will still need to consume extra calories. For me, it was difficult to get back to bounce back and I wasn’t able to until I was done breastfeeding. Just don’t get your hopes up too high.
13 It’s Not The "Best Birth Control Method Ever"
Believing you can’t get pregnant while nursing can lead you down a path that you might not be ready for. If you do not wish to have another baby right away, it’s best to have another birth control method other than nursing. Some women swear by this and think it’s impossible to conceive, but it can. There is some truth to this, but it’s not always one hundred percent effective.
According to Parenting.com, “Most breastfeeding moms experience lactation amenorrhea, which means they have little or no periods. This can lead them to believe that they are not ovulating, but the University of Maryland Medical Center says that getting pregnant while breastfeeding can and does happen.”
If you’re not looking to expand your family just yet, use another method.
12 Aunt Flow Doesn't "Stay Away"
Some women are lucky enough to not have to deal with their period while they are breastfeeding, but not every mother is so lucky. There is no normal when it comes to having a period after giving birth when you’re breastfeeding. Mothers who aren’t nursing will usually go back to having normal periods after they are past the postpartum bleeding.
Mothers who are nursing might not resume their menstrual cycle until they are completely done breastfeeding. Other mothers could get their period once their baby starts eating some solids. There are even some women who might not get it for months after they are done with breastfeeding. Every woman is different, so just be prepared for any outcome.
11 Breastfeeing Is Not "Stress-Free"
There are many breastfeeding mothers who claim it’s less stressful to breastfeed than it is to bottle feed. Both ways have their pros and cons, but in no way is it less stressful.
In my experience, I found breastfeeding to be more stressful, but it was also more rewarding for me. There were some days where I felt as if I was nursing around the clock. There were many times when I had to miss out on all of the fun, especially on holidays, because I would have to go in my room for a while to nurse the baby.
Breastfeeding is very different from bottle feeding. I would have to drop what I was doing all of the time when the baby wanted to eat. My son wouldn’t take a bottle if I was around and even gave a hard time doing so when I wasn’t home, so it was almost always me who had to feed him. It can become overwhelmingly stressful, but the benefits outweighed it all for me.
10 Your Dollar Doesn't Necessarily "Go Further"
You would think you would be able to stretch your money even further since moms milk is free, but that’s not always true. You won’t have to spend any money on formula, but there are costs associated with breastfeeding. If you’re planning on going back to work you will have to invest in a pump, which can get pricey. You still have to purchase bottles and all of the accessories that go along with it.
There’s also money to be spent on nursing pads, creams or ointments, and milk storage bags. All of these things add up over time, but in the end, it’s probably still cheaper than having to buy formula for a full year. If you’re not planning on going back to work for more than a year, you might be able to get away without having to buy anything other than nursing pads and ointments.
9 Going Back To Work Is Never "Simple"
Going back to work isn’t easy for any mother, no matter which way she decides to feed her little one because we don’t want to be separated from them. If we were able to get paid for maternity leave for the first year, I’m sure we would all do that.
With my first two children, it wasn’t that difficult to get back to work, but that was because they were formula-fed. I just had to leave for work and their father handled the rest while I was gone.
With my last two children, it was tough getting back into the swing of things at work. I always had to make sure I had my pump and all of the parts. I had to make sure there was always a good supply of milk for him while I was gone and it wasn’t easy always finding the time to pump at work. Not to mention, the few embarrassing times I was walked in on while pumping at work or the few times I forgot my pump at home.
8 It's Not True That Breastfed Babies "Don’t Get Sick"
This is another lie that so many breastfeeding mothers swear by, but it’s just not true. Any baby can get sick regardless of what type of milk they have. It is true that they get sick less often, but it can happen.
According to Breastfeeding USA, “As mother and baby are exposed to bacteria and viruses, milk includes antibodies specific to those antigens. It also contains more general disease-fighting substances that provide help in preventing common illnesses. A mother will pass antibodies to her baby through her milk, which can actually destroy bacteria in the infant’s gastrointestinal tract before they have a chance to make the baby sick.”
Moms milk does seem magical with everything that it can do, but don’t think your baby will never get sick.
7 Breastfeeding In Public Still Comes With Lots Of Scrutiny
Some mothers have no shame in breastfeeding in public and they really shouldn’t, but the truth of the matter is, many mothers just can’t do it. There are so many laws in place all over to protect breastfeeding mothers in public, but yet there is still so much stigma associated with it. Some people will give dirty looks and even have rude remarks. Unfortunately, this is what feeds into the shame and embarrassment for breastfeeding mothers.
I have tried breastfeeding in public a few times, but I just couldn’t do it regularly. I would always find somewhere to try and sneak off to. All of my friends who were nursing felt the same way. I even had a friend who would breastfeed in public bathrooms, even though she hated it, but she refused to do it in public after someone said something mean to her.
6 It’s Not Necessarily "What’s Best For The Baby"
I’m sure we all know that one breastfeeding mother who tells everyone it’s what’s best for the baby, meaning every baby. There are so many breastfeeding mothers who will make these comments to mothers who formula feed, but in reality, they have no right to. Everyone is different and has different preferences. Some mothers can’t produce milk and some babies can’t breastfeed for certain medical reasons.
There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to this. When you really think about it, no matter which way you decide to feed your baby, they will still grow, thrive and be healthy, which is the main goal. Your baby is going to love you either way, so just decide what you feel is best for you and your baby.
5 Mom’s Milk Doesn't Always Have "Everything They Need"
Mom’s milk has many nutrients and it can do amazing things, but it does lack in some areas. In many countries, it is required that all breastfed babies need to take vitamin D supplements. Some babies may even need to take iron supplements. According to Kellymom.com, “Human breastmilk is a very poor source of vitamin D, usually containing less than 50 IU per quart. This is why the AAP recommends all breastfed infants receive 400 IU per day vitamin D by supplement drops.”
Mothers who are vegetarians should take extra vitamins and supplements to ensure their milk has all of the nutrients it needs.
4 Engorgement Is Very Real
If anyone has told you that you will only have to deal with being engorged in the beginning, don’t buy into it. After the baby is born and your milk comes in, you will experience being engorged and the excruciating pain that goes along with it.
Once your supply regulates, your milk production will be based upon how much your baby eats. There could be some days where your baby eats less than usual and the painful engorgement will come back.
If you have a pump, it’s a good idea to use it if your baby isn’t nursing as much as usual. Also, if you're going to be away from the baby for a while, bring your pump with you. I forgot my pump once and wasn’t able to get back home to get it. I became engorged and the pain was horrible. The worst part was I eventually burst and I was so embarrassed about having to walk around like that. Let's just say I got some odd looks that day.
3 Using A Pacifier Actually Can Be A Problem
Many breastfeeding mothers claim there’s no problem with using a pacifier. It could end up being true for some babies, but for others, it could hinder their nursing. Some babies get confused by it and will refuse to nurse. It’s also not a good idea because it can decrease mom’s milk supply. If you do decide to use a pacifier, you should wait until you’ve developed a good milk supply.
According to Momlovesbest.com, “You should not give your baby a pacifier until they are about one month old - that will give your breastmilk a chance to fully establish and your baby time to learn a proper latch without the confusion of a pacifier added in.”
2 Breastfed Babies Are Not Always "The Perfect Size"
There is no guarantee that your baby will be a perfect size if they breastfeed. It is true that breastfed babies tend to have less of a chance of being overweight, but it does happen from time to time. Some breastfed babies are underweight and doctors may even recommend supplementing with formula in these situations.
No matter which way you go with feeding your baby, there is no easy fix to having a perfect size. As long as your baby isn’t extremely underweight or they are way too big, then they are their own perfect size. Chances are, as long as they are happy and healthy, they are perfectly fine.
1 Breastfed Babies Are Not Always "Less Fussy"
If anyone ever tells you that breastfed babies are less fussy, you might want to disregard any advice that they give you. It’s actually quite the opposite. They tend to be noticeably fussier than formula fed babies. Both of my babies that were breastfed were fussier and they only wanted me the majority of the time.
They were also less content with staying in their swing. Luckily, as they got a little older, this started to fade. This one ties in with it being more stressful on breastfeeding mothers. They tend to be extremely clingy with mom. Although I may have been stressed at times and they were fussy, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.