"I have really bad diet my milk won't be any good"
- Human milk is the optimum food for human babies. If your diet is poor it may affect your energy levels but not the constitution of your milk. Milk production takes all it needs from the mothers body.
"My baby isn't gaining weight fast enough. I need to top baby up with formula milk"
-Slow weight gain can be worrying for new parents, however...providing baby is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies there is usually nothing to worry about. If your baby is gaining weight slowly contact your local breastfeeding support team who can help to make sure that baby is getting the most from breastfeeding. If there is a need for top ups there are many ways of doing so without the need for bottles and formula milk which may disrupt your breastfeeding relationship.
"My baby won`t sleep through the night anymore – she needs more than my milk can give her"
Babies go through many different developmental changes that can affect their sleeping patterns. Although this may mean that you are feeding more often at night time it is usually down to developmental changes – not your milk. If you are worried about babies sleep talk to your Health Visitor and breastfeeding support team who should help put your mind at rest.
"My baby is feeding all the time, he needs more than I can give him"
Babies often go through growth patterns that can mean they need to increase your milk supply. Baby is upping your supply ready to cope with a new growth phase...this is often referred to as cluster feeding and frustratingly happens mostly during the evening. This is normal. If baby is feeding much more than you feel is right or you are worried about weight gain please get in touch with your local peer support team and your health visitor who can help you make sure baby is feeding efficiently.
"Your baby is feeding ALL the time! He`s just using you as a dummy!"
Milk is made on a supply and demand basis, the more baby feeds, the more milk you`ll make. If baby is feeding for what you feel is too frequently get in touch with your health visitor and peer support team to make sure baby is feeding efficiently. Babies take much comfort from feeding at your breast. Breastfeeding is much more than just a food source. Sometimes mothers may notice that, as baby gets older, if they are busy during the day baby may catch up on feeding and cuddle time later on.
"I have mastitis I need to stop feeding from the affected side"
It is important that you keep feeding through your illness as stopping feeding may make your symptoms worse. If you feel you have mastitis please get in touch with your health visitor and peer support team who will support you through it.
"My baby is a large baby, there is no way I could produce enough milk to sustain her. She`ll need formula milk!"
This is untrue. Milk production operates on a supply and demand basis. The more a baby feeds the more milk you will make. Introducing a formula top up can disrupt this process and ultimately lead to a poor milk supply meaning you give up breastfeeding sooner than you would like.
"All women can breastfeed!"
-This is untrue. There is a small percentage of women who are medically unable to breastfeed. However, there are many other reasons why a breastfeeding relationship may be unsuccessful even if there is no medical reason to support it. It needn't be this way. Getting the correct information before the birth, understanding the processes and getting support from a dedicated breastfeeding network will increase a mother and babys chance of getting it right.
"Im ill! I need to stop breastfeeding so baby doesn't catch my illness."
This is untrue! When you are poorly the antibodies you make to fight your illness pass through to your breast milk. Chances are that baby has been exposed to the same illness as you any way...If you continue to breastfeed you are passing the antibodies to fight the illness through to your baby effectively a readymade medicine! Clever eh! Breastfeeding is a great way of helping baby get over illness; for the live cells and antibodies it provides and the closeness and comfort of it too.
"My baby has reached 6 months. My breast milk no longer has any nutritional benefit"
Untrue! Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life is recommended but The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding continues alongside other forms of food and drink until baby is at least two years for all the nutritional, physical and emotional needs that it meets. At around the middle of the first year solids are also being introduced but there is no reason to stop at this time - as long as you are happy to continue – your baby will be too.
"My breastfed baby won't sleep through the night. Formula makes them sleep longer"
Formula milk contains cow's milk protein which is harder to digest and sits in babies tummies for longer. The proteins in human milk are specific for the human species. They are digested quickly as babies are designed to feed little and often for optimum physical and emotional growth and maximum intake of breast milk.
Getting ongoing support and the correct information about feeding your baby makes an amazing difference to how successful a breastfeeding relationship can be. Boobiful Babies is a Breastfeeding Peer Support group run by mothers who have experienced breastfeeding for varying amounts of time and have received additional training in peer support.