Debunking Breastfeeding Myths
New mums are often bombarded by advice on breastfeeding which can lead to confusion. Here we address common misconceptions on the topic
1. Myth: Breastfeeding hurts
Truth: It should not be painful. Breasts are sensitive for about two weeks after you give birth. If you feel anything more painful than a gentle tug from your baby, it could be that your baby is not latched on properly and is nipple-feeding.
2. Myth: I can’t nourish my baby fully if I have small breasts.
Truth: Breast size is not a factor. Frequent feeding will keep levels of prolactin high in the milk sacs in your breasts which will ensure you’ll make enough milk.
3. Myth: Babies with jaundice cannot be breastfed.
Truth: Not true. In fact, you should increase the number of breastfeeding sessions as it would increase baby’s bowel movements and allow bilirubin to be excreted from the body.
4. Myth: Frequent breastfeeding leads to low milk production.
Truth: Breastfeeding works on supply and demand. The more the baby feeds, the more milk your breasts produce.
5. Myth: Babies get all the breast milk they need in the first 10 minutes of nursing.
Truth: Not true. The composition of breast milk changes during a single feeding session and your baby needs both the foremilk and hindmilk you produce. Feed for as long as your baby is interested, 15 to 30 minutes on average.
6. Myth: Breastfeeding is only beneficial for the first six months of baby’s life.
Truth: The composition of breastmilk changes as your baby grows which means it will continue to supply your child with the immunological factors, anti-inflammatory agents and growth factors needed by a young child.
7. Myth: Breastfeeding benefits only the baby.
Fact: It benefits the mother too, protecting her against breast cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. It also aids in weight loss gained during pregnancy.