There are so many myths surrounding breastfeeding. To help you sort through it all, on this World Breastfeeding Week, here are some truths behind the most common myths.
New moms don’t make enough milk
Fact: Some of you may not make milk for the first 3 to 5 days after delivery however you make a thick concentrated liquid called Colostrum. This is rich in all the nutrients that are required for the new born baby.
Breast feeding helps the baby get a better IQ
Fact: There is no scientific proof which states that babies who have been exclusively breastfed have a better IQ than babies that have been on formula milk. However, breast milk has certain antibodies that can be passed on from the mother to the baby which will help build the baby’s immunity.
Frequent feeding means the baby is not getting enough milk
Fact: Breast milk is easier to digest than formula milk which is probably why your baby is requiring frequent feeds. Needing a feed every 2 to 3 hours is normal for new born babies.
Formula fed babies sleep better
Fact: This is an absolute myth however formula fed babies may sleep longer. The reason behind this is because the milk takes longer to digest so they are full for a longer time. However the downside to formula feeding is the super stinky diapers!
Breastfeeding changes the shape of the breasts and reduces the sensation:
Fact: Pregnancy somewhat alters the shape and feel of your breast however does not cause any other changes. A major benefit of breastfeeding is that women who breastfeed are known to show a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Breastfeeding is painful
Fact: Some women may find the initial few days of feeding a bit painful as the nipples get sore. However if the baby is latching on properly there should be no soreness rather you enjoy the bonding session with the baby. That’s why it’s so important to talk to a consultant at the hospital (and perhaps after you go home) who can help you and your baby make the process as comfortable as possible.
The breast needs adequate rest to make enough milk
Fact: Simply stated: ‘ the more you feed, the more milk you make’.
If a baby isn’t gaining well, it may be due to the low quality of the mother’s milk.
Fact: Studies have shown that even malnourished women are able to produce milk of sufficient quality and quantity to support a growing infant. Most cases low weight gain are related to insufficient milk intake or an underlying health problem in the baby.
Dr. Sejal Devendra Surti
Specialist Obstetrics and Gynaecology