Learn the truth behind breastfeeding myths.

levelFeeding is the best source of nutrition for babies. Breast milk, also known as “liquid gold”, is the life-saving elixir for all babies. There is always a conflict between the old ideas about breastfeeding and the modern concepts that exist with the advancement of technology. We’ll dispel some of the top breastfeeding myths to raise awareness among new mothers and grandmothers alike.

Myth 1: Breastfeeding is always painful.

Breastfeeding should never be painful. The mother may feel a slight stretch in the breast tissue. Any type of pain during breastfeeding is usually related to incorrect latching technique. In which the child’s gums are pressed against the mother’s nipples.

For breastfeeding to be completely comfortable, the mother needs to make sure that the baby’s gums are on the areola (the deep area around the nipple) and not just on the nipple. To take it well, the baby must be able to take as much as possible from the mouth.
A lactation expert can help the mother identify a good sitting position for breastfeeding. It can guide how to hold the baby properly. In order to avoid traumatic injuries to the nipples of the baby’s mouth.

Myth 2: Breasts need 2-3 hours of rest to grow

Breast milk production does not work in time. During the first few days after birth, breast milk production depends on hormones (endocrine control) and then switches to a cycle of supply and demand (autocrine control).

This essentially means that most mothers breastfeed their babies as soon as possible after birth. Colostrum is produced from birth until 72 hours after delivery, regardless of the mode of delivery (normal or caesarean section). Abundant milk production after 72 hours, heavy and full breasts, milk leakage, etc.

After that, the production of mature milk takes about 5-7 days. Mature milk is also the milk that mothers will produce until they finally stop breastfeeding.

Mothers should know that as long as the baby drinks milk, the breasts are never empty. Baby’s sucking helps milk production. Therefore, if the baby just fed 20 minutes ago and asks to feed again, the mother should not panic.

Myth 3: The left breast holds the water and the right breast holds the food. Therefore, the mother should breastfeed more than the right breast.

The left chest holds the water and the right chest holds the food. This is why a mother should breastfeed more than the right breast, know the truth Image: Shutterstock

Breast milk production is undoubtedly a miracle and a mother’s superpower. This is a thing of the old days, where such advice was given to mothers. After the progress of science, we have come to know that the milk produced in both breasts is the same.

In fact, new moms should know that when heavy milk production begins, the milk that arrives at the beginning of each feed is slightly watery (the liquid that comes before the milk). It is believed that it not only takes care of the hunger but also the thirst of the child.

The milk that comes when the breast is a little empty is fatter and takes care of the baby’s appetite and helps to gain weight. This means that mothers should not switch breasts repeatedly at the same feeding.

Now the rule is that babies get adequate milk from one breast before giving mothers the other breast. Some babies can fill their stomachs with just one breast. Some babies can drink milk from both breasts at the same time. So it should be said here that the baby can decide how much milk to drink in one session.

Myth 4: Babies should only be fed for a 20-minute period. No more than that.

When healthy, full-term babies are breastfed, they are in complete control. They will drink as much as they need. In the early days, many babies can breastfeed for a longer period in a special session. Whereas at 2-3 months of age he drinks for short bursts of 2-9 minutes per session.

There is no fixed rule about the duration of breastfeeding. Some babies cannot nurse actively and fall asleep. Which makes it look like they are breastfeeding for a long time. In the first days, it is a good way to understand whether the baby is breastfed or not.

Depending on how hungry the baby really is, the amount of time it takes to feed at each feed can vary. Apart from the nutritional component of breastfeeding, parents and caregivers need to understand that the warmth, nourishment and comfort that babies receive from the breast. Breastfeeding is also known as comfort food or pacifier and is quite normal.

Myth 5: Most mothers cannot produce enough milk for their babies, especially twins.

Breast milk is produced according to the cycle of supply and demand. Factors such as frequent flaps with proper latching, effective breast emptying, help ensure and maintain a good milk supply. However, mothers of twins or twins need support from other family members in addition to good nutrition. Family members, health providers and maternal support groups (mother support groupsSupport can also encourage and support mothers to breastfeed easily for the first 6 months and continue breastfeeding for a year or more.

Myth 6: Breastfeeding is not possible after a C-section because mothers are lying on their backs and have trouble moving.

breastfeeding positions
Breastfeeding is an essential process that nourishes your baby. Image: Shutterstock

Feedback can make it difficult to breastfeed independently. However, breastfeeding is easier if you are supported by qualified nursing staff and lactation consultants. Babies can be placed next to the mother on pillows so that they are at breast level. Babies can also be nursed by placing them on the mother’s shoulder. If the mother cannot move comfortably due to some other complications, the lactation consultant can place the baby in the anatomical position with the help of a nursing pillow. When the mother wakes up after delivery and is too weak to hold the baby in her arms to breastfeed, she can be guided to breastfeed by leaning over, using pillows to support the baby.

Myth 7: The mother’s diet plays a very important role in breastfeeding or the baby may have a stomach ache.

This is one of the most prominent misconceptions and also one of the reasons why nursing mothers are forced to follow a very restricted diet. Family elders tell most new mothers that if the mother consumes foods that cause gas, it can cause gas and colic in the babies. The mother is advised not to breastfeed immediately after the bath, as the temperature of the milk would change. Parents of the new generation should rest assured that these are blatant myths and a new mother should have a varied and balanced diet with everything, unless she has other complications such as high blood pressure or pregnancy-related diabetes that warrant dietary restrictions.

Myth 8: Breastfeeding and bottle-fed breast milk are the same

Breastfeeding and bottle feeding are not the same and never can be. Yes, when the mother is not available to breastfeed or when the baby cannot nurse and breastfeed directly for any reason, breast milk is the best option. However, when the baby is breastfed naturally, the baby’s saliva comes into contact with the nipple, which signals the brain to produce the composition of milk that the baby’s body needs. Therefore, if a baby with diarrhea is breastfed, the milk produced by the mother will be rich in electrolytes to compensate for the loss caused by diarrhea. Expressing breast milk with a pump can be helpful for some mothers, but there is no general rule for all mothers to increase their milk supply.

Many mothers are encouraged to stop breastfeeding and bottle express milk so that the father or partner can participate in the feeding process. The father or partner can be involved in ways to give skin-to-skin contact and help and support the mother while nursing the baby and can also help burp, wrap or massage the baby. Breastfeeding or formula feeding can interfere with the breastfeeding process as the baby can get used to the longer and larger nipples of the bottles and the faster flow of milk without the effort of sucking . Bottle sucking and breast sucking are very different and can lead to the illusion of the nipple causing breastfeeding to stop early.

Myth 9: Any breastfeeding mother can easily produce her own milk with a breast pump.

Yadi aap stanpaan kara rahi hai toh ho sakta hai nipple pain
If you are breastfeeding, you may have nipple pain. Image: Shutterstock

There is this tendency even among people with technical knowledge to measure milk production. New parents and even some healthcare workers need to understand that babies and breast pumps are not those things. In fact, normal, healthy, full-term babies are the best breast pumps. When a baby is breastfed, the mother’s body relaxes, produces oxytocin which helps her form a strong bond with this little bundle of joy. A breast pump can never match it. Mothers who exclusively or primarily breastfeed may never measure their supply in one pumping session, as they may be unable to expel a significant amount. Breast pumps can only be used to supply breast milk. When the mother feeds with a special pump and begins to worry about the milk supply from the pumping session. She worries when she sees a decrease in the amount of milk with each pumping session.

Myth 10: Breasts and nipples should be cleaned before and after each take

The darker area around the nipples, also called the areola, produces a fluid that smells similar to amniotic fluid. This fluid contains “good bacteria” and also helps moisturize the areola and nipples. The mother does not need to clean her breasts or nipples before and after feeding, as frequent cleaning dries out the nipple and areolar tissue.

Also read: Vitamin K keeps your mind and brain healthy, know how to include it in your diet

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