Breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children. It is also one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Here are 6 myths about breastfeeding that you should be aware about:
Myth: Breastfeeding always hurts.
Fact: Breastfeeding should rarely hurt. Nipple sensitivity is normal in the beginning, but nipple pain is not normal. The most common cause for painful nipples is an incorrect latch or position and can be lessened with the help of a lactation consultant.
Myth: Many women don’t make enough breast milk.
Fact: Most mothers produce the right amount of milk for their babies, but many women think they don’t make enough breast milk. Breast milk production is determined by how well the baby is latched on to the breast and the frequency of breastfeeding. Look for signs that breastfeeding is going well, e.g. your baby is breastfeeding at least eight times in a 24-hour period.
Myth: Formula is the same as breast milk.
Fact: Formula is totally different from breast milk. Formula is more like a “medicine” than food, whereas breast milk is the ideal food for your baby. Breast milk is easily digestible and provides your baby with their “first immunizations”. However, some babies may need formula for certain reasons.
Myth: You should not breastfeed if you’re sick or on medication.
Fact: You can usually continue breastfeeding, even when you’re sick, depending on your illness. Make sure you get the right treatment, have sufficient rest, and eat and drink well. Inform your doctor that you are breastfeeding and read the instructions with any medications you buy over the counter.
Myth: You have to drink milk to make milk.
Fact: Drinking milk has nothing to do with breast milk production. Nevertheless, it is important for breastfeeding mothers to remain hydrated and consume a balanced, healthy diet.
Myth: Don’t wake a sleeping baby to breastfeed.
Fact: Newborns tend to sleep a lot in the first couple of days after birth. You may need to wake up your sleeping baby to establish a regular breastfeeding routine and provide him with the necessary energy.