Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths

Breastfeeding Support

Reasons Women Who Are Able Don’t Breastfeed:

1. “I was raised on formula and I’m just fine.”
Chances are the formula you were given is no longer considered a fit food for infants. Do you want to take the same chance with your child?

2. “I want my husband to bond with the baby too.”
There are many ways to bond with a baby, including holding, playing, and changing diapers. Studies show that more eye contact, interaction and love is shared with a baby during a diaper change than during a bottle feeding. You will find that your baby keeps you both very busy, and any time spent with a baby is time for bonding.

3. “I don’t want to ruin my figure.”
Breastfeeding tones the muscles of the uterus and helps a women’s bodies recover and recondition more rapidly. Contrary to popular opinion, breastfeeding will not make your breasts sag. Sagging is mostly caused by heredity.

4. “It’s just not for me.”
Your baby doesn’t know that. She thinks it’s perfect for her. Try it for 6 weeks. You might find out having a baby changes you and it really is you. Or if you don’t like it, you can switch to formula and your baby will have gotten some invaluable health benefits.

5. “I have to go back to work.”
There are many ways to combine employment and breastfeeding. For more information (and a sample letter you can use to request that your employer set up a space for pumping), visit www.promom.org

6. “I don’t want to be tied down.”
Breastfed children are very portable! It is much easier to go out without all the paraphernalia you need for formula feeding.

7. “My breasts are too small (or large).”
Breast size has nothing to do with the underlying milk producing structures.

8. “It hurts.”
If it hurts, then you most likely do not have the baby positioned correctly. Contact La Leche League or a lactation consultant for help. Breastfeeding is a learned skill. It takes a little time for the breastfeeding pair to get good at it.

9. “Well, if you only need to do it for 6 weeks why should I start?”
Breastfeeding provides benefits to the mother and child for as long as you do it. The American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding policy statement recommends exclusive breastfeeding (no water, glucose water, formula, etc.) starting as soon as possible after birth and for the first 6 months of life, and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year of life and thereafter for as long as mutually desired. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years. Around the world it is not unusual to find children breastfed for several years or more.

10. “I don’t want to do it in public.”
Feeding your child is the most natural thing in the world. It is terrible that we are asked to hide when we breastfeed. Every time you breastfeed in public, you are helping to change this. If discretion is important to you, there are products that can help you nurse discreetly.

11. “It’s not legal to breastfeed in public.”
Oregon Senate Bill 744 signed in law June 24, 1999 states: A woman may breastfeed her child in a public place.” For more breastfeeding questions, contact the Oregon Health Division by calling 1-800-SAFENET.