What’s Stopping Me From Breastfeeding?
Those Haunting Fears & Rumors
- Breastfeeding does not damage breasts
- Inverted nipples don’t interfere with breastfeeding
- Difficulty breastfeeding your first child shouldn’t stop you from trying again
- Pain should not be part of breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding need not be time-consuming and complicated
Most often, one starts to breastfeed and then instantly gives up. After all, in this age of instant gratification, who has time to wait 3-5 days for one’s milk to come in? Well, hopefully you do. But that’s another story for another article. Right now let’s start with the unfounded reasons why one attempts to dismiss breastfeeding from the get go.
- Breastfeeding Batters Breasts. Don’t go blaming the little one. It’s not Mother Nature but rather Father Time that takes a toll on our body. Becoming pregnant doesn’t help either. The mere act of being pregnant enlarges breasts and stretches everything a bit. Once the baby is born, damage has been done. What’s left is a great meal, one that your baby should be able to enjoy without guilt.
- My Breasts Are Shaped Wrong. Inverted nipples got you worried? Put those fear away. Size, shape and outward appearance means nothing to your precious newborn who is simply looking for a place to eat. What matters most in milk production is all the machinery behind the nipple, not whether your nipples perfectly protrude. Once your baby latches on, the rest takes care of itself.
- My Breasts Don’t Work. “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again”. Sometimes it takes a familiar quote to remind one that lack of luck breastfeeding the first child shouldn’t be a reason to avoid breastfeeding baby number two – or three – or six. You get the picture. As they say in the investing world, “Past Performance Is Not a Predictor of Future Performance”. Give it a try. After all, “Practice Makes Perfect”. OK, I’m done with the quotes.
- Pain Isn’t My Thing. Who sold you on the idea that breastfeeding is painful? The initial letdown may be uncomfortable and your nipples may feel slightly sore, but with a proper latch from the get go, such discomfort should be minimal. Establish a good latch from day one and your breasts will be living in a pain-free zone.
- Too Much Time & Too Much Effort. Spend a day preparing bottles and you will soon learn that breastfeeding is actually very easy and every efficient. Whether you are holding a bottle or placing your baby on your breast, it takes time to feed a baby. Precious moments are not being lost. Quite the contrary, this is your chance to bond.
- My Schedule Won’t Permit It. If you are willing to devote the first few weeks of your baby’s life to breastfeeding, anything is possible. Once your milk production is established, you can exclusively breastfeed, you can pump and store breast milk, or you can supplement with formula. A night on the town or a weekend getaway is very doable. Dad can even participate in feeding. With breast pump in hand and a little planning, breastfeeding can seamlessly integrate into you and your baby’s life.
Fear of the unknown has a way of playing with our mind and preventing us from trying something new. Don’t let such fears stop you from taking advantage of what you have been blessed with by nature. “There Is Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself.” OK, I lied. I had to sneak in one more quote. But I promise, this time I’m done.