Breastfeeding has been the subject of numerous stories over the years, some of which are real and others that are not. When new mothers hear such tales, it scares them, and they start to doubt if nursing is best for them and the child.
Listening to such stories should not be a priority rather it is important to note that every mom has a unique experience with breastfeeding because no two people experience the same thing the same way. Breastfeeding can seem like a difficult task. But to avoid giving new mothers and pregnant women the wrong impression, we’ve listed a few breastfeeding facts and myths that we think they should be aware of.
Myths and Facts
Here are some common myths and facts about breastfeeding;
Myth- Babies naturally know how to breastfeed
Fact- Babies are naturally born with infant reflexes that help with breastfeeding and can make them suck on any object their mouth comes in contact with, but this doesn’t mean that they naturally know how to breastfeed and it would be successful the first time they try it. Instead breastfeeding has to be practised and learned both by the mom and the baby.
Myth- You cannot breastfeed if the size and shape of your nipples are not perfect
Fact- Lies, Lies, Lies, the size and shape of a woman’s nipple do not hinder breastfeeding because every woman has a different size and shape. Hence there is no perfect breast for breastfeeding.
Myth- You have to drink milk to make milk
Fact- There is no way this is true, but a breast’s ability to drain its milk is directly related to how much it can produce. To satisfy your baby’s appetite needs, your breasts will produce more or less.
Myth- Breastfeeding is always painful
Fact- Breastfeeding doesn’t always hurt, but many mothers endure discomfort in the first few days after giving birth while learning to breastfeed. However, sore nipples can be avoided if parents receive the proper assistance with placing their infant for breastfeeding and ensuring that their baby is latched to the breast correctly.
Myth- You should not breastfeed if you are taking medication
Fact- This is not true, but if you are on medication or to be placed on medication while breastfeeding, consult your doctor to get proper advice.
Myth- Don’t wake a baby to breastfeed
Fact- Newborns tend to sleep a lot in their first few months, so unless your baby is above 3 months, then it is okay to wake the baby up to feed. You can always put them back to sleep after feeding them.
Myth- Babies who have been breastfed are clingy
Fact- Just the same way mothers are different, so are babies. Some babies are naturally clingy, and some are not. It has nothing to do with breastfeeding.
Myth- You should wash your nipples before breastfeeding
Fact- Washing your nipples before breastfeeding is not necessary because after babies are born, they already become familiar with their mother’s smell. The nipples secrete a smelly substance that contains “good bacteria” that aid in the development of the baby’s lifelong, healthy immune system.
Myth- Frequent nursing causes a child to be obese later in life
Fact- There is no way breastfeeding a baby causes them to be obese in the future. Obesity does not happen due to breastfeeding, rather it occurs as a result of various complex factors, some physiological, genetic, or social.
Myth- If you have small breasts, you won’t be able to produce enough milk
Fact- When it comes to producing breast milk, the size of the breasts doesn’t matter. A woman’s breast size doesn’t affect her ability to produce milk. Also, the baby’s desire increases the amount of breast milk produced, which is hormonally driven.
New and soon-to-be moms don’t pay too much attention to these myths and are scared of nursing your baby. If you need more information, it is better to see your doctor here.