Welcome to the fifth Breastfeeding Blog Carnival!
This month's topic is one many mums will be familiar with - good and bad breastfeeding advice!
As usual, everyone involved in the Breastfeeding Carnival has worked extremely hard putting together lots of excellent posts, the links to which are at the bottom of mine!
So here goes - enjoy!
Good Advice/ Bad Advice
As any breastfeeding mum will tell you, when you openly admit to either breastfeeding your child or to considering breastfeeding when you are pregnant, the advice from often well-meaning professionals and strangers comes flooding in. You are presented with a colourful array of tales - many of which stem from "this happened to a friend of mine" and so the urban myths take hold.
In my own experience I was very fortunate in that all I ever got was good advice, the best of which was being told by my health visitor to take breastfeeding as a whole on a feed-by-feed and day-by-day basis rather than aiming to breastfeed for a set period of time.
By proferring such words of wisdom the pressure to breastfeed for X number of months was immediately lifted and ironically I went on to breastfeed each of my babies for at least 15 months (still going strong wth number three at 20 months!) as opposed to the initial three months I had been aiming for!
Not all new mums are so lucky though. Just a few weeks ago I reported how one mother with a peanut allergy was advised by her GP not to breastfeed as it would make her baby more susceptible to allergies! Another lady I spoke to in just the last couple of days told me how she was advised to quit breastfeeding by her GP because she had mastitis!
With GP's of all people dispensing such bad advice, who can breastfeeding mums turn to in those early days when they feel everything they do is being judged and that everyone but them knows the answers?
Luckily, there are many organisations and groups just waiting to help. From breastfeeding support workers/ lactation consultants to websites like The Breastfeeding Network and La Leche League there is ample great advice and support available - assuming new mums know where to look of course.
And therein lies the rub...
Because if no-one is spreading the word about such wonderful sources of breastfeeding help, breastfeeding mums feel isolated, helpless and are obviously vulnerable to bad advice.
So I challenge every breastfeeding mother out there, instead of just offering your own words of support why not make a point of mentioning the names of the support workers, helplines, books and websites where professional breastfeeding support is available or which you made use of when you had problems.
Together let us put an end to all the bad advice that is scaring mums off and encouraging them to quit breastfeeding at the first hurdle. And if your good advice helps just one mum embark upon or continue breastfeeding then isn't that one more success story for us all?
Please visit the following regular contributors to the Breastfeeding Blog Carnival to read more stories of Good/ Bad Breastfeeding Advice:
Angela at Breastfeeding 123 writes about how to get good medical advice on breastfeeding.
Tanya from The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog lists some of the commonly heard breastfeeding advice, good and bad, which bombards new mothers as well as suggesting ways to ensure the advice you get is good.
Andi at Mama Knows Breast suggests way to find a good Lactation Consultant and offers some breastfeeding tips.
Jennifer from The Lactivist writes about her own experience of exclusively pumping breastmilk for her newborn and offers advice and resources for other mums facing the same dilemma.