SIMPLE TRUTHS You have probably heard some contradictory information about breastfeeding
over the past months – from other mothers keen to share their opinions and experiences and providing breastfeeding advice. With a newborn baby transition you may be confused by contradictory statements. It is true that breastfeeding
is not for everyone, and some find it easier than others. But don't let misinformation put you off nursing your baby
. Here are some facts to replace the fiction:
• Myth: a woman with small breasts can't breastfeed. Reality: actually, size doesn't matter when it comes to nursing.
• Myth: if your mother (or sister) couldn't breastfeed, neither can you. Reality: fewer than one in a thousand women are actually unable to breastfeed, and genetics has nothing to do with it. Most breastfeeding
failures occur when women get inadequate support or guidance during the first crucial weeks with the newborn baby.
• Myth: nursing always hurts. Reality: it is true that breastfeeding
can be uncomfortable during the first two weeks or so. It takes time for your nipples to get desensitised and used to their new job. And there may be a few days when your breasts get somewhat engorged as milk production gets underway. But there are lots of clever tricks and useful breastfeeding advice you can use for overcoming such discomforts so it is well worth persevering. As long as your baby
is latching on properly – and your midwife will make sure of this during your post-natal visits with your newborn baby - once you’ve given your breasts a little time to adjust, things suddenly improve and nursing your baby
becomes second nature and a joy for your both.
• Myth: you must toughen your nipples before you breastfeed. Reality: Although massaging your nipples may help get you used to the idea, preparation is actually only necessary if you have inverted nipples. You should talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
By far the best preparation you can do for breastfeeding
is to look forward to the closeness you and your baby
will share. Try to remember all the good tips and breastfeeding advice you get from experienced mothers, and forget the negative things you may hear. If you plan to breastfeed or are thinking about it, set your mind to giving it a proper chance when the time comes.
For more straight talk on nursing, read "Breastfeeding Basics."
Or contact www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk who also have a nationwide telephone helpline. Your local NCT group should also be able to put you in contact with breastfeeding
councillors in your area, see www.ntcpregnancyandbabycare.com.