Mums, we are no medical experts, but we did get a chance to do a little research – both online and offline – and talk to a few people, and here is a list of the common myths surrounding breastfeeding that we compiled. Of course, every mum is special and different, so do consult your doctor on the same and in case of any discomfort, get immediate medical assistance. Have a read:
Myth 1: Frequent nursing leads to poor milk production: Fact: Milk supply is at its best when healthy babies are allowed to nurse as often as they require.
Myth 2: Spicy food can affect the taste of milk and upset baby’s tummy: Fact: It’s true that too much spicy or oily food can lead to acidity, and this is certainly not advisable for anyone. But having spicy food does not lead to baby not liking the taste of the milk. In fact, having a little spicy food and food with different tastes will only introduce baby to a variety of flavours and make it easier for them to experiment with food as they grow up.
Myth 3: You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding. Fact: Breastfeeding does prevent ovulation in some women, but it’s not a form of birth-control.
Myth 4: Small breasts don’t produce as much milk as big breasts. Fact: The size of your breast does not connect with how much milk you’ll be producing.
Myth 5: Breastfeeding can make your breasts saggy. Fact: Breasts can get saggy due to a lot of reasons – age and weight gain have more effect on the sagging of breasts than feeding.
Myth 6: Breastfeeding is painful. Fact: Not at all. While most women do experience tenderness, swelling or cracked nipples, which usually leads to pain, you should immediately consult your doctor if breastfeeding continues to hurt you. Nursing your baby while you have cracked nipples is unhygienic for baby and painful for you. Get immediate medical attention.
Myth 7: A baby needs to be on the breast 20 minutes on each side. Fact: There is a difference between being ‘on the breast’ and actually feeding. Make sure your baby is has latched on properly and is suckling properly. Many babies fall asleep while feeding, and even though they still latch on, they do not feed. If your baby feeds properly for 20 minutes on one side, there may be no need to feed on the other side right then. Also, it’s difficult for babies to latch on all the time by themselves, so help them and make sure you’re compressing the breast in between to keep the flow steady.
Myth 8: Breastmilk is not water, baby needs additional water: Fact: Breastmilk contains all the water a baby needs. For the first 6 months, mother’s milk should be baby’s only diet, unless it’s of insufficient quantity, or the mother is not able to nurse for any reason. In such cases, please consult your doctor immediately to know what you can give baby as top feed.
Myth 9: Breasts need time to fill up between feedings. Fact: A lactating mother’s breasts continue producing milk, even as the baby is feeding. In fact, a mother’s breast can produce milk as per baby’s demand, and even more.
Myth 10: A mother must drink milk to produce milk. Fact: A mother needs a balanced healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lentils, grains and proteins to give her proper nutrients to produce milk. Calcium can be found in dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish.
So mums, remember ‘Breast Is Best’, and make sure you do as much as you can to make this special-bonding more enjoyable and beneficial for baby and you! Happy Parenting!