Facts and Myths about Breastfeeding

Facts and Myths about Breastfeeding
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Today’s internet and media create a lot of mixed messages regarding the process and experience of breastfeeding which has been a mystery to many. The facts and myths about breastfeeding in India create a lot of chaos among new moms.

Facts and myths about breastfeeding in India

During the past years in India, there have been certain facts and myths about breastfeeding. Some are listed below:

Myth 1: Babies know how to breastfeed naturally

Fact: Your baby has infant reflexes that can help with breastfeeding like rooting and suck reflex respectively. The rooting reflex is when a baby turns the head towards any stroking on the mouth or cheek. The sucking reflex is the baby’s instinct which allows them to suck anything that touches the roof of their mouth. 

Breastfeeding must be learned by practice by both baby and mother even if the baby is born with these natural instincts. Shortly after birth, the medications during labor can have an influence on the baby’s reflexes with a slight depression in their brain function compared to the baby’s brain function whose mommy didn’t receive any such labor medications.

Myth 2: Breastfeeding should not be given if nipples are not perfect in size and shape

Fact: Every woman has a different size and shape of breasts and nipples depending on their physique. Perfect breasts are not vital for breastfeeding. 

Also, another factor is that every baby has a different size of the mouth, lips, tongue, etc. The anatomic compatibility between the baby and mommy makes the breastfeeding experience better.

Myth 3: Drinking more milk to make milk

Fact: Drinking more milk to make milk has always been among the myths about breastfeeding in India but it has little to do with a woman’s production of breast milk. Hydration is more important for a mother where it can be an intake of any form of liquid. 

At the same time, a healthy diet is essential as the body can draw the necessary nutrients from the body and add breast milk at the same time. The facts and myths about breastfeeding explain that if a mother is undernourished, she will become further undernourished to supply the baby with the nutrients.

Facts and Myths about Breastfeeding

Check out Best Paediatricians in Chennai.

Myth 4: Breastfeeding always hurts

Fact: Breastfeeding rarely hurts. The nipples can get sensitive when the baby breastfeeds. This is because of the increased hormone level after delivery and contact with your baby after feeding. 

Nipple sensitivity and nipple pain is normal and should be evaluated by a lactation consultation to know the exact cause. The most common cause can be due to incorrect latch or position.

Myth 5: Most of women do not make enough breast milk

Fact: Most of the women make enough milk for their baby whereas other women think they don’t make enough breast milk for their baby’s needs. They focus on the size of your breasts, or the fullness you feel. 

Instead of these facts and myths about breastfeeding it is advisable to pay attention to these signs that breastfeeding makes the best for you and your baby:

  • By the time the baby gets four days old, they should have at least 5 – 6 wet diapers each 24-hour period.
  • At the same time, they should have at least 3 or more poopy diapers with yellowish coloured poop.
  • The baby’s urine is diluted and pale, so it is essential to breastfeed at least 8 times in a 24-hour period.
  • Your baby can regain the birth weight by 10 to 14 days old.
  • Your baby can gain weight about four to eight ounces per week.
  • During a feeding, you should be able to see, hear the baby swallow with a rhythmic sucking pattern.

Myth 6: It is not possible to make enough milk in the days before the breast milk comes in

Fact: A new mom can make exact and enough breast milk for the newborn’s needs. The stomach of the newborn will be just about the size of a marble. The mother’s body will make about 5 ml of milk if the baby is breastfeeding a minimum of 8 times in a 24-hour period which is perfect for a newborn’s stomach. 

If the baby continues to breastfeed regularly, the volume of milk in the mother’s body will increase as the baby demands it.

Myth 7: There is no way for determining the quantity of breast milk the baby gets

Fact: It is very true that it is difficult to determine the amount of breast milk the baby gets at any time during the feeding session. The signs to know that the baby gets enough milk are that by weight gain and diaper output (urine or poop). 

The amount of breast milk and composition change is a more important factor than the amount of breast milk the baby is getting.

Myth 8: Formula is equivalent to breast milk.

Fact: This statement is invalid as the formula is not the same as breast milk. If your baby needs to have a formula for certain reasons like more like a medicine than a food, it is acceptable.  Breast milk is an ideal food for your baby because it prepares your baby’s tummy for food by closing and coating the normal openings in the lining of the baby’s intestines. 

Also, breast milk is designed for easy digestion for the baby as babies experience less spitting up and gas. It adds more immunity for the babies from getting sick like asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, ear infections, gastrointestinal infections, serious colds, respiratory infections, throat infections, etc.

Myth 9: It is not good to breastfeed if the new moms take medications

Fact: These myths about breastfeeding in India are not true. It is better to consult a pediatrician and a lactation consultant would be much better.

Myth 10: Do not wake a sleeping baby to breastfeed

Fact: Let your babe get older than three months and become a good breastfeeder. This is not true at all. To create a regular breastfeeding routine and help the baby by providing milk for enough energy waking the baby in the first couple of days after birth is very vital because your baby will sleep a lot. 

If you don’t wake them up then, the baby will get lazier and have less nutrition without a proper breastfeeding routine.

To sum up, the experience of breastfeeding varies for every mother, and it is good to stick to the facts and myths about breastfeeding for gaining a joyful experience and increasing a lovely bond between the new mommy and newborn. 

Read also Best Child Specialist Hospitals in Chennai.

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