“I have the baby blues.”
Many new moms experience mood swings. However, if the baby blues last longer than two weeks or if you've become angry or resentful, talk to your doctor. When left untreated, depression can hurt milk production. A 2005 study in MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing found that mothers who are stressed, fatigued or depressed had lower prolactin levels in their milk and blood, which can decrease milk supply. Several antidepressants are compatible with breastfeeding, which means you don't need to quit nursing. Many experts agree breastfeeding actually enhances a woman's mental health.
“My baby seems smaller than others his age.”
Ask your pediatrician to use growth charts specifically for breastfed babies. Healthy breastfed infants tend to grow more rapidly than formula-fed infants the first two to three months and less rapidly from 3 to 12 months. The key is to keep all of your well-baby visits so your doctor can track baby's weight. (Find weight charts for breastfed babies at who.int/childgrowth/standards/en.)
“It will ruin my body.”
Breastfeeding often gets blamed for sagging boobs, but actually it's pregnancy, weight gain and poor bra support that affect the shape and size of breasts. During pregnancy, the glandular tissue in breasts increases and the ligaments that support your boobs may stretch as your breasts get fuller. This stretching may contribute to sagging after pregnancy — whether or not you breastfeed. Breastfeeding and gradual weaning may help redeposit fat into the breasts and return them to more of a prepregnancy appearance. La Leche League says women who are more concerned with the shape of their bodies are less likely to want to breastfeed. “The longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower her risk for developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease,” says Melissa Bartick M.D., an internal medicine physician in Massachusetts. Keva Zeigler, a breastfeeding peer counselor, says: “I tell women, ‘Take pride in your superpower. You make milk. You grow people.’”