Answering the ill-informed breastfeeding statements – Part 2

“I don’t produce enough milk”
Current estimates of women unable to produce enough milk are between 2 and 5%.
At times this statement might possibly be rephrased, “I don’t have the information, resources or support to produce enough milk”. Physical reasons for low milk supply (in order of significance):
1. Poor latch
2. Not breastfeeding often enough
3. Perceived insufficient milk supply
4. Supplementation
5. Hypothyroidism
6. Uncontrolled diabetes
7. Retained placental fragments
8. Severe postpartum hemorrhage
9. Birth control pills and shots

Environmental reasons for low milk supply (in order of significance):
1. Cultural barriers
2. Negligent family support
3. Not enough time to breastfeed due to heavy workload
4. Early marriage
5. Low birth spacing
6. Having too many children too cope with

“I don’t want my breasts to droop”
Studies report there is no difference in breast sag between women who breastfeed and women who don’t. The main factors that do affect sagging are age, smoking status and the number of pregnancies a woman has had.

“My doctor says formula is fine”
Breastfeeding training is not required at medical school. You’re doctor is likely to know as much, or less, than you about breastfeeding. If you want local help and advice about breastfeeding, contact a Lactation Consultant. La Leche League is an excellent starting point – they have organizations all over the world, they’re free, and are run by volunteers.

“I don’t have the time or money to breastfeed – I HAVE to work”
Explore your options:
o Can you bring your baby to work or wear your baby while you work?
o Can you work from home?
o Can you move to a more family-friendly job?
o Is there an on-site day care or nearby daycare?
o Can your baby be brought to you for visits?
o Can you do part-time work?
Negotiating work options:
o Talk with your employer about a place to breastfeed and pump.
o Is there a refrigerator and sink you can you to store your milk and clean up your equipment?
o Pump as often as your baby nurses, every two to three hours, typically mid-morning, lunch, and mid-afternoon. If you pump both breasts at the same time, allow 15 to 20 minutes, 30 minutes if you pump each breast separately.
o You may have to arrive earlier and stay later to make up for time spent pumping.

“It’s a woman’s choice to breastfeed or not”
Of course it’s a mother's choice what she feeds her child. But unless she is FULLY informed on the health risks and statistics relating to what she's feeding her child, it is not a 'choice' at all. Having a choice means knowing in detail what you are choosing between. The vast majority of mothers are given very little information, and the little they do get still implies breastmilk substitution (formula, goats milk etc) is a lifestyle choice, rather than a last resort (see statistics here).

These are just a few statements, I know there are numerous others.

Part one of "Answering the ill-informed breastfeeding statements" addresses the statements: "There's nothing wrong with formula", "My child is formula-fed and happy, bright and healthy", "I know breast-fed children who are sick all the time", "Shouldn't he be weaned by now?", and "It's disrespectful to nurse in public".

If you have your own take on answering these statements don’t hesitate to comment.

PCOS and Breastfeeding
by Lesa Childers
Why are so many doctors ignorant about breastfeeding?
by Rebecca Odes & Ceridwen Morris
Breastfeeding Does Not Create Sagging Breasts
by Medical News Today
20 Tips for Working and Breastfeeding
by William Sears, MD

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  1. LOVE your blog and the fabulous information. I've added your button to my blog. All the very best to you and your family, Sarah x

  2. Thanks so much Sarah, Love your beautiful blog too, and all the best to you and your family aswell, it's inspiring seeing all the great things you all get up to! x

  3. Thanks - this post is very good! I'm support breastfeed and wish for ever mom have such wonderfull possibility....

  4. Elena,
    Just visited your blog, you have such a beautiful little girl! Lovely blog, and thanks for your comment :)