To keep TheTruthAboutBreastfeeding as accurate a reflection of real women’s experiences as possible, any comments, thoughts and stories are very welcome. The site also aims to keep on top of the latest research into breastfeeding so if you notice any inaccuracies in the discussion of the scientific literature, or you want to point out any new research that hasn’t yet been discussed on the site, please post a comment!
Please note that TheTruthAboutBreastfeeding has copyright in all information on the site, including comments posted to the site, and reserves the right to edit and re-publish these in print form.
February 24, 2009 at 9:47 am
Some really interesting information here – thank you for sharing it.
February 24, 2009 at 10:58 am
That’s good to know – thanks for your feedback
April 25, 2009 at 11:56 pm
I’m writing to tell you about my blog, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene (bfino.wordpress.com). I hope you will take a look at it. The purpose of the blog is to promote the beauty and naturalness of breastfeeding by showing women breastfeeding their children, from newborns to toddlers, in various public and private settings.
If you like the blog, I hope you will help me in one or both of two ways. One is to post a link on your blog (I will be happy to reciprocate). The other is to encourage your readers to send me pictures for posting.
Thank you for your help.
April 26, 2009 at 5:39 am
What a great idea – I’ll be linking to you from my blog.
May 11, 2009 at 6:53 am
Thank you for creating this blog. I’ve just been reading the information about “fore” and “hind” milk and it’s fascinating. I’ve breastfeed two children (third on the way!) and always believed that there were two “types” of milk in each breast. My youngest is almost nine, so I can perhaps forgive myself as a lay-person for being out of date, but I do wonder what excuse some professionals have for giving such misleading information!
Please keep up the good work! 🙂
May 12, 2009 at 6:40 am
May 14, 2009 at 8:28 pm
Your blog resonates with my experience, right down to the timing. I’m not sure when your daughter was born, but the chronology of your posts starts around Jan. 5th, which is actually the day my daughter was born.
I was just reading your post on positions for breastfeeding. “The gravitational forces that had helped attachment in reclining postures dragged babies away from their mothers when they sat up. It was harder to keep the baby latched on, and mothers reacted by tightening their grip, resulting in back arching and arm and leg cycling that appeared like thrashing or flailing.” I have had problems with my daughter arching her back and flailing almost from the start. I hadn’t been able to find any information on it, other than anecdotal “it’s normal” info. I’ve tried relaxing my grip, tightening my grip, changing positions, everything I could think of. Just in the last couple of days, I’ve been positioning her in a way that she has free access to my nipple. She almost seems to be having FUN like this! She latches herself on, and if she doesn’t like the position or maybe the flow of milk, she lets go and relatches. She twiddles, usually with my bra or my necklace. She kicks a bit and squirms. But she seems to be enjoying it, versus seeming to be uncomfortable when she arches her back and flails.
I am looking forward to following your blog, especially the research side of it.
May 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm
It’s really good to hear that changing position has worked for you – so many people have said the same thing recently! Biological nurturing is a relatively new concept, but so far I’m convinced by what I’ve seen. Hopefully at some point it will filter through to the advice new mothers are given.
May 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm
Thanks for including a link to my Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene blog. I have put a link to your excellent blog on my site.
March 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm
very good blog, thank you for your effort to read critically the literature and share it with everybody.
i have to give a speach on antibiotics and the breastfeeding mother and found your post about mastitis very interesting and in line with my position.
June 4, 2010 at 9:09 am
I have just come across your blog, and I’m not sure if you’re still updating it, but I think it’s fantastic. I don’t come from a scientific background, but I have long believed that women would be much better served by honest information about the challenges of breastfeeding. Just beating us over the head and saying ‘breast is best’ doesn’t make it work! I am still breastfeeding my baby who is now 10 months old but we had a very rocky start. We had several problems, including oversupply and (I think) thrush, but the main issue turned out to be tongue-tie. This was undiagnosed by about ten well-meaning ‘experts’ from the NHS and voluntary orgs throughout the first miserable three weeks of my son’s life. And just because I haven’t found a specific piece on tongue-tie on your blog, I wanted to add this comment. For us the only symptom was my excruciating pain. My baby was getting enough milk, by clamping down on my nipples with his jaws and pulling hard (nice). Because he was gaining weight, no-one took it seriously. But also no-one checked that he could stick his tongue out of his mouth properly. It wasn’t a severe case, and perhaps harder to diagnose. Eventually spotted by a wonderful midwife at the Homerton Hospital in Hackney, and operated on at Kings Hospital in South London. The comment made by the consultant there rang so true. He said that if a mother is having problems breastfeeding it is an emergency, and should be treated as an emergency.
Thanks again for the site – I’m passing it on to friends who are expecting.
June 6, 2010 at 3:41 am
Thanks for your feedback – it’s so interesting and helpful to hear other mothers’ experience of breastfeeding difficulties. The comment from the consultant is brilliant. I wish more people saw it that way!
September 13, 2010 at 1:19 pm
Regarding the “skin color” and “nipple hardening” study, I wonder if the results could be accounted for by the link between red-headedness and increased sensitivity to pain, insensitivity to anesthetics, and/or tendency to higher blood loss? I believe that there has recently been some research done on this topic, which was previously limited to anecdotal evidence, primarily among anesthesiologists. I think it was covered in the the Economist.
Probably there would have been a lot more red-heads among the population of women with very pale skin in the nipple pain study.
I suspect that nipple “toughening” is primarily a psychological effect. Did you know that in the past pregnant women were recommended to suckle puppies for this purpose?!
January 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm
I would like to say I am a mom to a 6 year old and 8 month old. I breastfed my daughter for 1 year, still going strong with my 8 mo. old. The first 6 weeks both times were very painful. I read every book, every web site, tried anything that sounded plausible. Looking back, what is true for me is that the baby just has to grow. Their mouth gets bigger, they learn how to latch on better, your nipples adjust in time. You just have to keep trying and get as much support as you can. Things that helped were videos on-line of latching on, re-latching if it was really hurting and keeping a little journal. Lactation consultants can help but only if they are skillful at not making you feel like a failure. I took ibuprofen, used lanolin and air-drying with milk- some things help a little but time is the best. If you don’t breast feed your baby will be just fine – but I believe you will get less sleep in the long run- bottles are not convenient. And making milk does feel like a super-power at times!
March 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm
I love your blog and was hoping to swap links :)) I have started a blog about breastfeeding aimed at women who want to breastfeed – I think its really important to not pressure women and let them feel their own desire to breastfeed their babies.
Anyway, if you like it, you can help me share what I know and generally spread the truth about what it is really like to breastfeed by putting a link to it somewhere on your great site ;). Of course, I will put a link to yours on my blog sidebar too…
Let me know what you think 🙂
March 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm
Hi Jo – your site looks great. The more info that’s out there the better!
October 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm
You have a great humouristic way of telling your ‘stories’ and presenting your arguments and at the same time suggesting solutions to the problem.
September 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm
Hi! I’m reaching out because I read this post from years ago: https://thetruthaboutbreastfeeding.com/2009/01/12/nipple-nightmares-2-fissures/ and I am experiencing the exact same thing! I have a deep fissure on the outer part of each nipple and it’s AWFUL. My son is almost 6 weeks old and I think the fissures developed 5 weeks ago. So far I haven’t seen any improvement to the healing process. Do you have any advice? I’m so sad that things aren’t going well, I don’t want to give up, but it’s so hard to see no healing going on. I would love any insight you have!
September 6, 2013 at 8:51 am
I’m really sorry to hear about your problems. It’s a horrible thing to go through! It did eventually get much better for me – they probably started healing around the 8 week mark. I did pump for a couple of weeks on the side that was worst, but to be honest, they just cleared up on their own. I’m pretty sure my nipples are a different shape now though!
September 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm
Thank you so much for your response! You’re the only one I’ve had any contact with who knows what I’m going through. Before he nurses the fissures are more closed up looking but when he’s done they look much different – was this how it was for you too? I haven’t seen any improvement at all and feel like I’m going to go crazy. Do you know why you started healing after 8 weeks? Also, what was your first sign that they were actually healing? I don’t really know what to look for. Lastly, how did you find comfort in wearing clothes? I feel like with my nipples smashed against a bra it is hurting the healing process. I really appreciate any insight you can give me!
September 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm
I used breast shells between feeds, which looked hilarious but helped a lot. I think your body just sorts it out in the end. For me, the fissures didn’t so much close, as skin grew over the wound. Lovely! They are fine now though, and I had absolutely no problems breastfeeding second time round. It was as easy as they say in the leaflets…
June 22, 2016 at 7:40 am
Your site is outstanding Elizabeth. It should be mandatory reading for all the supposed “experts.” The replies on this site make sad reading, and demonstrate that good advice and help is still sadly lacking. Too often what should be a wonderful and exciting time becomes a misery. Something so important is totally dependent on who helps the new mother with those first feeds and it’s the luck of the draw! It seems to take only a couple of bad latchings to develop blisters. The real failure is the lack of expertise among those who are trusted to provide guidance at this vulnerable time. The growing scientific understanding about gut bacteria and the importance of birth and breastfeeding makes the need for better education even more important. Change is urgently needed – it’s just so hard to persuade “experts” that they are wrong.