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Breastfeeding 101: Three Fears to Dismiss

By the Welcome Baby Care Doulas

In the last few weeks of pregnancy, a woman—hopefully—begins thinking beyond dreamy, creamy paint shades for the nursery and starts focusing on the reality of motherhood.  

Naturally, as she does so, a few fears, misgivings, and even misconceptions set in.

One of the most common focal points for fear and anxiety is breastfeeding.  Will I be able to do this?  Will I make milk?  Will I love it?  Will I hate it?  Will my sex life change?  

At Welcome Baby Care, we’re all about starting with the basics.  Simple, effectual answers to alleviate unnecessary fear.  

That said, I’d like to clear some silly cobwebs from your thoughts on breastfeeding.  Here are three common misconceptions that may actually STOP some women from nursing, before they’ve even started.  Don’t let these myths stop you!

1.  Breastfeeding hurts!  

Breastfeeding SHOULD NOT hurt.  I say this as someone who has had many, many clients talk of unbearable pain while nursing.  Beyond a little sensitivity and tenderness in the first few days, breastfeeding should not hurt.  Pain is a sign of an improper latch, or infection.  Infection is often caused by an improper latch in the first place.  Get help with breastfeeding BEFORE there is a problem, so that breastfeeding is pain free.

2.  If I’m nursing, I can’t drink alcohol.  And after pregnancy, I’m ready for a glass of wine!

No new mother should be so heavily intoxicated that she can’t properly care for her newborn.  So yes, your days of wild and crazy partying may be over.  But a glass of wine with dinner?  Perfectly fine.  As with many medications, very little alcohol actually passes into breast milk.  Furthermore, it leaves the milk as it would leave your blood.  Fine to drive?  Fine to nurse.  

3.  My breasts will sag and I’m afraid that my partner won’t find me attractive anymore.

Pregnancy and age do contribute to some breast sagging.  Breastfeeding?  NOT the culprit.  Of course, faulty positioning (leaning down to the baby rather than bringing baby to breast) can aid in the natural effects of time and gravity…and of course, can lead to the unfortunate and unnecessary pain mentioned previously.  If baby is brought to breast, no extra sagging should occur.  Of course, your body—and a whole list of other things about you—will change as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.  Your partner should and most likely will LOVE you even more for the mother you’ve become.  As for the natural breast sag that occurs with pregnancy and age—regular exercise, especially yoga and light weight lifting should keep things perky enough.  Beyond that…you’re a mom, you’re beautiful, embrace it.  

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