Updated: Feb 9
Whether you are pregnant or have recently given birth, you have probably read and come across much information about breastfeeding. Ultimately, every woman is unique and has a different breastfeeding story. Some may have been good, while others may have been bad. You may have also considered whether breastfeeding is the best option for you and your baby. But don't be concerned.
In today's article, we'll go over all of the myths and facts about breastfeeding so you can have a better understanding and hopefully make breastfeeding easier and more joyful for you and your baby.
Myth 1: Breastfeeding is not that hard
The most common myth that many mothers or soon-to-be mothers believe is that breastfeeding is a simple process. However, this is not the case. By nature, your baby is born with a reflex to look for their mother's breast. It can be challenging for a mom to figure out the process and make the baby comfortable around it in the first few days or weeks. Lean on your family or friends for practical assistance as you go through the process. As you practice, you will quickly learn the rhythm of breastfeeding.
Myth 2: Breastfeeding is supposed to be painful
New mothers frequently experience soreness and tenderness during the first few days of nursing. This is entirely normal, and your body is attempting to adjust to the nursing process. However, if the pain or ache persists, it is best to consult your doctor for further guidance.
Myth 3: You should always wash your nipples before breastfeeding
It is not always necessary to wash your nipples before breastfeeding your child. Because the babies have already become accustomed to their mother's smell. A mother's nipples produce a substance that a newborn baby can smell, which contains good bacteria that can help the child develop a strong and healthy immune system.
Myth 4: You should only eat plain foods while breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding mothers doesn't have to change their eating habits and can maintain a healthy diet during their nursing period. Because a well-balanced diet not only promotes breast milk production and plays a vital role in the baby's growth and development.
Myth 5: Exercise can alter the taste of breast milk.
A healthy lifestyle includes exercise as well as a well-balanced diet. Light to moderate physical activity is safe and beneficial for breastfeeding mothers, and it does not affect the quantity, flavor, or composition of your breast milk.
Myth 6: Many mothers do not produce enough milk during the first few days of pregnancy.
Biologically, mothers have less milk during the first few days of breastfeeding, known as colostrum or liquid gold, because this milk contains all the nutrients a newborn requires. Though the quantity is small, it is sufficient to keep your child's stomach full. Also, as time passes and you continue to breastfeed your baby, the production of milk increases.
Myth 7: If you are sick, you should not breastfeed
Even if a mother is ill, she can continue to breastfeed her child. However, it all depends on the type of illness. Always get the proper treatment, rest, and eat well. Additionally, the antibodies produced by your body when you are ill will be passed on to your baby, resulting in the development of their own defense system.
Myth 8: Other medications are not permitted while breastfeeding
Before taking any medication, you should seek advice from your doctor because some medicines can significantly impact your child's growth and development. As a result, it is always critical to consult your doctor before taking any medication on your own.
Myth 9: After giving birth, all mothers are ecstatic and happy
According to reports, up to 80% of new mothers experience fatigue, sadness, and overwhelm in the days following the birth of their child. This is known as the baby blues. Many mothers experience baby blues due to hormonal changes, exhaustion after nursing, and a variety of other factors. A mother suffering from the baby blues will also have a decreased appetite, irritability, and anxiety. However, these symptoms usually change and improve by the end of the second week.
Myth 10: Formula is as effective as breast milk
If appealing marketing leads you to believe that formula is the same or better than breastmilk, don't fall for it. Your breast milk is tailor-made for your baby at each stage of development because it is packed with nutrients, antibodies, anti-viruses, hormones, and anti-allergens to help protect your baby from illness that a formula cannot provide. Breast milk is also easier for your baby to digest than a regular formula because it contains more minerals and vitamins.
Though breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems, it is not difficult. Many doubts may arise during nursing, and it is normal to have so. Book a consultation to clarify any doubts about pregnancy, breastfeeding, and other gynecology-related queries. If you still have more questions about breastfeeding and want clarity from a healthcare professional, Polaris Healthcare is here to help you anytime.
About The Author: Dr. Ujwala Patil
Dr. Ujwala Patil provides specialist advice in gynecology and obstetrics. She is the founder of Polaris Health Care and is an experienced gynecologist and obstetrician. She completed her M.B.B.S. from the renowned B.J. Medical College, Pune. She has undergone F.O.G.S.I. training in Infertility and is certified in Cervical cytology and colonoscopy.
She has also been empaneled as a gynecologist at Surya and Life point hospitals. She has handled many high-risk obstetric cases and has conducted more than 1000 deliveries. Her expert advice dipped in care is accessible to women from all walks of life.