Sometimes myths thrive because there is a kernel of truth to them. Some are old wives tales whereas others are some bad experiences shared by the lactating mothers which later became myths. All mothers must be optimistic about their decision of nursing their infants because this milk is full of nutrition and gives them immune protection. Here are few assumptions which are resolved with some right reasoning, so let’s begin:
Breastfeeding is a natural process and as such, it is not difficult to do. Many mothers who are looking to breastfeed are often discouraged by myths that they hear from friends and family. Here are some myths about breastfeeding that you may have heard before:
1- Small breasts
Breast size has nothing to do with the amount of milk they produce. The capacity of how much milk should produce is controlled by the milk producing cells (breast tissues) and the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which are responsible for milk production in women’s bodies. The anatomy of breasts is made from an amount of fatty and fibrous tissues which has no bearing on milk production activity. All breasts can make sufficient amounts of milk and you can successfully feed your little one without worrying! However, you can take guidance from lactation consultants if you have low milk supply, they can advise you on lactating cookies to increase milk production.
2- Prevent getting pregnant
A common myth assumed by many women on their experiences in life is that they didn’t get pregnant while they were breastfeeding their babies but the fact is that it’s not at all a reliable trick to trust on. There are 50-50 chances of conceiving again just after they deliver a baby and get free from their periods while others stay safe. Every woman’s body is different and so responds differently. Breastfeeding hormones do intervene with the ovulation process and hinder it too, thereby delaying the ability to conceive again. Also a lot of women witness a long break in their menstrual cycle, but as soon as they stop feeding their cycles become normal. Talk to your doctor about safe forms of contraceptives and pills which won’t interact with breast milk. Avoid estrogen based birth control pills which are not advised.
3- Don’t consume medicines while breastfeeding
Due to many obvious reasons, women have to take medicines to treat their health issues. A baby delivered by operation means women need to take antibiotics and painkillers to heal internal and external injury and stitches too. while many women have to take supplements and milk supply boosters to support their health, increase milk supply and overcome weaknesses. It is commonly mistaken that these medicines will decrease the milk supply but it’s not the case as they are mostly safe to use. Just ask your doctor before you have any pill because any chemical or medicine that enters your body will make way to breast milk too. There are many safe alternatives and medicines available along with herbal supplements, lactating cookies to improve milk supply efficiently.
4- Painful breastfeeding is normal
Initially breastfeeding in the first few days is considered difficult and a bit painful too. It’s simply because the milk ducts containing colostrum have thick milk accumulated in it, which comes out from the tiny holes of the nipples. The mother and baby both are learning, trying to ensure proper latching position and delivering their best. It surely takes time to figure out things that are comfortable to each other. As the days pass, with practice and consistency, you will be able to establish a rhythm and milk flow would be normal without hurting. It is also common to feel the breast and nipples to be sore and tender in the beginning but it’s not normal to consider that it always causes ache while feeding.
5- Formula fed babies misconceptions
There are many confusions related to formula bottle feeding and breastfeeding. Always remember, there is no alternative to breastmilk! It’s natural, hygienic and in short it’s the best thing for your baby. Babies do sleep longer when fed from formula milk but that’s because the milk is hard to digest and so they don’t feel hungry soon. This has a downside too, as milk remains in the system for longer and starts to ferment resulting in stinky poops, gas and colic pains. Babies even develop nipple confusion where they start preferring bottle nipples over mother’s breast nipples.
For the first 4 to 6 weeks, feeding must primarily be at the breast to build and protect your milk supply. If a feeding session is missed, try to replace it with a pumping session. To maintain milk supply add lactating cookies in your diet, also try to pump your own milk and bottle feed it when you aren’t near to your baby. Most breastfed babies will switch back and forth between breasts and bottles without any problem, so have some patience to adjust.
6- Breasts shapes and size
Nursing your baby has nothing to do with your breasts size, shapes or if it gets saggy. Research shows that hormonal and weight fluctuations during pregnancy are the main reason for breast changes. Breastfeeding is not to be blamed or considered responsible. Your age and family genetics also plays an important role in it. Once you stop feeding, your breasts will return to normal size and shape. Nursing is beneficial for mothers also as it reduces the risk of breast cancer later in life.
7- Breastfeeding and work
Going back to work doesn’t mean the end of the journey of breastfeeding. you don’t have to wean when going back to work. You need to plan, feed and pump milk for the baby smartly, is all that you have to do. Pumping will help accumulate milk for the baby and activate milk stimulation in the breasts. If you feel low milk supply, put your hands on milk supply boosters to increase milk supply and address this issue smartly.
8- Breastfeed the baby till one year
It’s assumed that the baby must stop having milk before their first birthday because the quality and value of this milk declines but that’s not true. The vitality of this milk never becomes less, and it changes its composition according to the age and requirements of the baby. So don’t get confused with the misleading rumors and continue feeding till you feel appropriate.
Myths do have some reality in them but with time and new changes in this modern era, we are now able to deal with all the issues efficiently and with scientific assurance. So never feel doubtful about breastfeeding as it’s nature’s best gift for your baby.