5 Breastfeeding MythsMonica Bielanko
One of those most controversial topics surrounding pregnancy and giving birth is breastfeeding.
Stick a bunch of women in a room and tell them to talk about breastfeeding and inevitably, it’s going to get ugly. It always does. I don’t know why, I don’t like it, but that’s just the way it is.
But, here I am, again, taking a stab at writing about breastfeeding, yet again. I figured that since I’m not taking a “side” just sharing information nothing can go too horribly wrong here… Right?
So then, without further ado, here are five breastfeeding myths, debunked. As WAHM.com reports, you can write these five common ideas about breastfeeding as nothing but old wives’ tales or, in a couple cases, wishful thinking.
Breastfeeding Permanently Alters The Size, Shape and Sensitivity of Your Breasts 1 of 5I've heard several women cite "losing their boobs" as a reason they don't want to breastfeed. And yes, it's true that many women experience those changes during pregnancy, and these changes may remain for a period after the baby is delivered. The process of breastfeeding will not, however, directly impact the size, shape or sensitivity of the breasts. In fact, breastfeeding has been shown to be good for the health of the breasts; studies have determined that women who breastfeed are somewhat less likely to develop breast cancer later in their lives.
Toughen Up Your Nipples 2 of 5Some women try to train their nipples like athletes headed for the Olympics. This often involves toughening the nipples because it's been said that tougher nipples make for less painful breastfeeding. There are a number of techniques for doing this, most of which involve attempting to create callouses on the nipples. However, most women experience no difference in sensation when attempting to prepare the nipples as opposed to not taking this approach, so it's better to avoid hurting yourself unnecessarily.
Breastfeeding Is Easy 3 of 5If anyone has ever breastfed before, they know it ain't easy. Usually, it's first-timers, women who've never been pregnant before, that think breastfeeding just comes naturally. And it might! But chances are, it's going to be a lot harder than you thought. I was a first-timer who didn't realize how hard it would be. Some women, myself included, become concerned when discovering they feel uncomfortable or strange breastfeeding. There is a common misconception that breastfeeding should come easily simply because it is natural. In reality, many women feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding, and it's not at all abnormal to consider stopping. I think if more women were prepared for the realities of breastfeeding they would try to stick with it longer. That said, breastfeeding isn't for everyone and that's cool too.
Breastfeeding Stops You From Getting Pregnant 4 of 5It's a common misconception that women cannot get pregnant while they are breastfeeding. In reality, the breastfeeding period tends to overlap with the post-pregnancy period in which the menstrual cycle is disrupted. However, as soon as a woman begins her menstrual cycle again after delivering a baby, she is able to get pregnant once again. Breastfeeding is not a good indication of whether you can get pregnant.
Breastfeeding Helps You Lose Weight 5 of 5Time and time again celebrities cite breastfeeding as the reason they lost the baby weight in three months or whatever. And yes, breastfeeding may help you lose weight. But that isn't always the case. Every woman's experience is different. Personally, I didn't lose the baby weight until I stopped breastfeeding. For some reason, my body kept a layer of fat that, perhaps it needed to keep making all that milk. So while losing weight isn't necessarily a myth, it doesn't happen for everyone.