Myths and Misconceptions about Breastfeeding

A lot of things you will hear people say or suggest about breastfeeding can be out-dated or just plain wrong! We have corrected some of the most common myths here:

10 Minutes on each side

This is now known to be wrong advice. The latest advice is to feed as often and for as long as baby wants (“baby-led or demand feeding”) and to allow baby to finish feeding on one side and then offer the other.

Big babies need top-ups!

If a baby is allowed to feed as frequently as they want then the mother will make as much milk as is needed. Artificial “top-up” feeds can and will interfere with this natural process.

You don’t have enough milk!

Often growth spurts are seen as signs of insufficient milk supply. At key stages a suddenly hungry baby is actually letting Mum know it’s time to make more milk, If Mum demand feeds through this and avoids artificially “topping up” then her supply will respond.

Mastitis means to stop feeding

It used to be thought that Mastitis meant you must stop feeding through the affected breast. It has since been found that a mastitis affected breast should be fed from as often as possible to allow the milk to flow and for the best chance of shifting the inflammation. In fact, if a breast with mastitis isn’t fed from then the mastitis will more than likely get worse.

Breastfeeding when pregnant is dangerous

Breastfeeding during pregnancy is safe for the majority of mothers. It can help maintain a close relationship with the older child and between siblings when the baby is born.

You can’t breastfeed more than one baby

It is perfectly possible to breastfeed more than one baby, either multiples (twins or more) or baby and an older child (tandem feeding). There are lots of health and practical reasons why this may be a good idea.

Breastfeeding an older baby or child is pointless and wrong

The health effects of breastfeeding don’t disappear when a baby gets older, they continue, for mum and baby for as long as the breastfeeding continues. It is not possible to force a baby or child to breastfeed and continuing to breastfeed for as long as mum and baby wish is a perfectly natural and normal aspect of parenting.