When I got pregnant with my first son, I remember getting all the pamphlets that outlined decisions I needed to make while preparing for his arrival. One of those pamphlets was all about feeding options, something I hadn’t even thought of yet. At the time, I was living with my aunt and she looked it over and said, ‘Well, the best thing to do is just breastfeed.’
In my head, I must have already been hooked on bottle feeding. I mean, that’s what I was used to seeing on television, in ads, EVERYWHERE… To me, it seemed the only way to go because it appeared to be the norm.
After a few more doctor visits and more research (and we ALL know how much research us mom-to-be’s are doing!) I started to realize that my aunt seemed to be right…if you’re able, “Breast is best.”
Long story short, I DID choose to breastfeed and I advocate for it all the time, especially in my community of women of color, where breastfeeding is not as normalized. Thankfully, breastfeeding is becoming more common in black families, thanks to increased awareness and support.
I wanted to do my part and debunk some breastfeeding myths that I believe every expecting mother should know before choosing not to breastfeed!
Myth #1 You Won’t Be Able to Go Out with Baby.
Totally not true.
Honestly, for me, going out and about was easier as a breastfeeding mom. No bottles, no measuring, just whipping out the boobie when he was hungry.
Some moms I interact with are worried that they’ll have to hide away while breastfeeding.
This is not true!
Depending on your comfort level, you can breastfeed almost anywhere, with or without a breastfeeding cover. I loved my Boba wrap in my latest breastfeeding journey with my now 2-year-old. It allowed me to wear him and to discreetly breastfeed when needed.
Myth #2 You Won’t Be Able to Go Out WithOUT Baby
Also, totally not true.
You can go out without baby. Planning will be key and I think pumping was a great thing for me in my breastfeeding journey, too, because I had milk for when I was away.
Don’t be afraid of pumping too little at first, either. With my first son, I noticed I had a huge supply of milk and with each child after, it got a little more difficult to pump. I think it was because I had more stress with each child and that impacted my supply.
I was able to combat this with major hydration and limiting my sugar and caffeine intake.
I pumped regularly and stored milk in the freezer. This will be key if journeying far (or near) from baby! It’s best to start pumping early in your breastfeeding journey to get into the habit of pumping and building a stash, especially if you plan to work outside the home.
I work from home so that was never an issue BUT I also like to go out and about to run errands and just enjoy some ME TIME so I definitely used my stash frequently.
Myth #3 Breastfeeding Hurts
I’m not here to sugar coat anything so I’ll be straight up. It can get a little sore at first but it’s not excruciatingly painful.
And, I promise, it won’t be worse than the pain of actually BIRTHING the baby.
Don’t let this fear of pain deter you.
Prepare ahead of time by asking your prenatal care professional for a referral to their lactation consultant. She can help you learn latching and position techniques so you’re ready when baby arrives! Add some Lasinoh Lanolin Cream and Cooling Pads to your hospital bag and you’ll be out that very short-lived phase very quickly.
Myth #4 You Can’t Have an Alcoholic Drink with Your Girls
I might catch hell for this but, you most certainly can have a drink. American Academy of Pediatrics says “ingestion of alcoholic beverages should be minimized and limited to an occasional intake…approximately 2 oz liquor, 8 oz wine, or 2 beers. Nursing should take place 2 hours or longer after the alcohol intake to minimize its concentration in the ingested milk.”
If you plan ahead, you most certainly can enjoy the occasional happy hour with friends!
Give baby the best feeding ever and head out the door. Try to return before the baby’s next feeding or leave a bottle of breast milk, just in case.
Myth #4 My Boobs Are Gonna Sag
This will depend on you but I’m gonna say it’s a myth because breastfeeding doesn’t CAUSE sagginess in your breast.
Implementing a few simple breastfeeding strategies will help you avoid the grief of your nipple touching your belly button.
Avoid that situation by purchasing a good and sturdy nursing bra and after breastfeeding wear supportive bras.
I loved my Boppy when I breastfed and that helped me with better positioning. It’s natural to lean into the baby but dangling your boob will cause stretch. Stretch equals sag.
These were the reasons that I heard among friends and family members who passed up the opportunity to have the most intimate bonding experience with their little ones. If you’re deciding if breastfeeding is for you or not…I’m sure at least ONE of these myths have crossed your mind.
I hope that I’ve given you four more reasons why you should choose to breastfeed.
Moms-to-be…do you have any other breastfeeding myths you’d like debunked? Post it in the comments and I’m glad to offer some first-hand insight!
Breastfeeding moms…have you heard a breastfeeding myth that you can debunk here in the comments?
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