Mythbusters: Lactation Edition

So, it seems like I’m constantly hearing/reading some serious misinformation about breastfeeding. A lot of it comes from women who tried to breastfeed, but were given outdated and untrue information. No wonder women give up so easily!!! Now, I’m no expert on lactation, but when I have a question I usually call the warm line at Ochsner (where T was born) to get reliable answers/information.

If you do a google search for any host of common breastfeeding concerns, you will find a lot of mothering forums where moms talk about the topic. Most of them are given horrible (and I do mean HORRIBLE) advice. Seriously. Things like, “Do I need to toughen up my nipples before delivery to make breastfeeding less painful?” No, I’m not kidding. I wanted to take a few minutes to interview a few professionals and veteran parents (who happen to be friends… I love my friends) on the subject.

There will be a few installments of this post… so if you have a breastfeeding question, send it to me! I will pass it along to one of my very knowledgeable friends!

First up, one of my favorite Moms in the world, Annie! She has two kids, a 4-year-old son (whom I adore nearly as much as my own son. I happened to be his nanny for the first two years of his life), and a 15-month-old daughter who recently weaned.

1. Will breastfeeding be painful until I wean my baby? Breastfeeding for the most part is not at all painful and can actually be quite calming.  A few things that can be mildly uncomfortable: letdown can be a little uncomfortable but only lasts a second or two and obviously if your baby bites you, that can hurt!

2. Won’t bottle feeding be easier and less time consuming than breastfeeding?  The actual time it takes a baby to drink a bottle versus drink a boob are the same and unless you have a super baby that is able and willing to give herself a bottle, it will take you just as long to feed the baby with a bottle as with a boob.  Things that make bottle feeding more time consuming – shopping for formula or milk, washing bottles.  Once your baby is old enough to hold the bottle herself (and is also willing to – mine is 15 months and still wants me to hold it for her), it would be easier to just hand the baby the bottle.  Of course, the ease and time of bottle feeding versus breast feeding also depends on whether you are at home with your baby or not.  Pumps are getting better, but pumping time will basically double the amount of time it takes to get your baby fed.

3. Is it safe to nurse my baby if either of us are feeling sick? It is definitely safe to nurse your baby while you or she is sick!

Thanks, Annie, for taking the time to answer these questions for me! You should all know that she even offered a before breastfeeding and after breastfeeding picture for this post… don’t you wish I would have taken her up on that offer?? 😉


About thedairyqueenmama

First-time Mom & second grade teacher from the great state of Louisiana. Loves coffee. Hates traffic jams.

Posted on July 28, 2011, in Breastfeeding, Interviews, Myths. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I like the info about illnesses… that’s a good question, so thanks for addressing it.

    I do think the level of possible discomfort with breastfeeding is understated, though. I don’t recall exactly how it was when I first started, but I remember trying to find a position to help my baby get a better latch that wouldn’t pinch. I’d say now, 4 months later, things are going well and it’s seldom uncomfortable, but it wasn’t always the case.

    That said, I think it’s been worth it — for the low cost (free!), the nutrition for her, and the protection against breast cancer for me.

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