The topic I selected for today’s blog is about common myths and facts about breastfeeding, we all keep on hearing from people around us. Sometimes we believe them without even knowing the authenticity of the topic. Whenever a new mother mentions she’s “breastfeeding”, she has to face several opinions and advises from friends, family and even from strangers. Most of the time, wrong information is being passed on through several generations. Here are the top ten breastfeeding myths that I keep on hearing very often.
Myth? Breastfeeding is a natural process, it should come easily and smoothly for new mothers.
Yes, it is natural but may not go smooth for new mothers. It may need lots of patience and practical support for both mothers and babies regarding latching and proper positioning. Babies may struggle with opening wide mouth and mothers may experience soreness and cracked nipples.
Myth? Your Milk Hasn’t Come In Yet.
Not true. You may not know mama but you have milk even before your baby was born. Colostrum production usually starts by the end of the second trimester. It is power-packed with the most important nutrients, powerful antibodies and is high in calories.
Myth? Your colostrum isn’t filing for your baby.
Not true. You will be amazed to know that a newborn is born with a stomach as small as the size of a cherry and is not ready to take large amounts of milk. The amount of milk you are producing during the first few days is just right!
Myth? Your baby will not sleep through the night until you introduce solids to his/her diet.
Not True, Your baby will start sleeping through the night once he/she is ready. My baby started sleeping through the night during the first month that too at a stretch of 4-5 hours.
Myth? You are not producing enough milk.
Breast milk production depends on the appropriate stimulation of breast tissues, how well your baby latches to the breasts, how frequently you offer your feeds, how well your baby empties the breasts during each feed. It works on the law of demand and supply, the more you feed, the more you produce. You are doing a great job mama.
Myth? You need to give water to your newborns because it’s hot.
Not recommended at all. This was one of the worst advice I had to face. People kept telling me that you are a doctor and you must know how important water is for babies. Well, Breast milk is about 88%-90% of water. It provides all the water, nutrients and protection against various infections and contamination. Introducing water to the newborns before 4-6 months of age may expose them to disease-causing bacteria or other contaminants. Severe cases of dehydration may need water replacement recommended by a pediatrician.
Myth? You should not feed your baby if you have a blocked duct.
Not true. The best thing you can do is appropriate latching, positioning your baby accurately to help empty blocked duct, massaging your breasts before and during feeds, applying warmth and frequent feeds. It helps loosen the blocked duct and keep your milk moving.
Myth? You should not breastfeed while you are sick.
Not True. The antibodies, your body produces during illness are passed into your milk making your baby’s immune system stronger.
Myth? You won’t need the birth control plan while breastfeeding.
Not true. If you are not ready for another baby, consult your gynecologist for your birth control plan.
Myth? You don’t need to drink water to produce milk.
Not true. The worst thing one can tell a new mom is not to drink water right after childbirth. In Pakistan, new mothers are not allowed to drink regular water even if they feel thirsty. Many also believe that drinking water after childbirth will make you gain weight. Are you serious? The reality is that water is the basic need of every human. You should take plenty of fluids and water according to your body weight and thirst. And yes your body needs water to produce milk since 90% of breast milk is composed of water.
The ongoing list of myths about breastfeeding is long, some of them are hilarious and some made me feel angry. The purpose of this article is to raise awareness among new mothers and those who are committed to breastfeeding but are somehow a victim of common myths. I recommend you to breastfeed your child, encourage new mothers around you and help spread awareness to gain maximum health and psychological benefits. It will help decrease the overall infant morbidity and mortality.
I hope this article helps you identify common myths about breastfeeding and make the right choices for you and your baby. I would like to invite all of you to write down common myths you heard about or had to face during different stages of breastfeeding in the comments section below along with your feedback.