Even after doing all your research, reading all those parenting and breastfeeding blogs, reading all the latest lactation studies, there will always be those lingering questions in every new mom’s head about breastfeeding — especially those questions that can be embarrassing to ask or seem too absurd, selfish or vain to be a valid question. For this post, I’d like to share some of the questions and the answers I’ve learned about breastfeeding (through personal experience and / or obsessive research and blog-trolling), that you may be too ashamed or afraid to ask:
1. I’d really like to get my hair colored / highlighted / permed /rebonded / treated, etc. but I’m breastfeeding! Is that ok?
Yes it is okay to get your hair done even while breastfeeding. While many discourage chemical hair treatments or applications for breastfeeding mothers, studies have shown that even if these chemicals gets passed on to your baby through your breast milk, they are in quantities too negligible to have any effect on your little one. Go ahead and get that perm. Just make sure of course you aren’t actually breastfeeding while you get your hair done.
2. I really want to enjoy a glass of wine (or bottle of beer) at my friend’s party, but I’m breastfeeding, is that ok?
Go ahead and unwind with that glass of wine (or bottle of beer, or shot of vodka for that matter). The point is to unwind and relax (but not get drunk) and it is okay to take alcohol in moderation even when breastfeeding. Studies have shown that the trace amount of alcohol that gets passed on to baby are also in negligible quantities. To be on the extra safe side, nurse baby before you go out to have a drink (or have pre-expressed milk in the fridge for him), or wait for 2-3 hours after your drink before latching again. Again, moderation is key.
3. Breastfeeding will cause my breasts to sag! Is that true?
No, breastfeeding does NOT cause your breasts to sag. Stretching which happens during pregnancy may contribute to sagging breasts post partum, whether you breastfeed or not. Other factors like smoking, aging and genetics also play a role in sagging breasts. So unless you have really good genes and wear really good bras all the time, you’re breasts will sag eventually, WHETHER YOU BREASTFEED OR NOT. Such is the law of gravity.
4. My nipples are inverted, can I breastfeed?
Yes you can breastfeed with flat or even inverted nipples. A baby’s latch is enough to pull-out inverted nipples. In the first days though, while you and baby are still learning how to nurse, it could help to use nipple shells or even a big cut-off syringe to “pull-out” the nipple in preparation for latch. But based on experience, flat or inverted nipples usually pop out on their own as you and baby both get your breastfeeding rhythm and routine down pat.
Here are some other myths of breastfeeding.
As absurd or as vain as some of these questions may seem, they are valid questions that deserve informed and reliable answers. After all, the less doubts and insecurities a new mother has, the more she is able to be for her new baby.
Read why I love breastfeeding.