There is an abundance of information available on breastfeeding. From books, to videos, to promotional material and online articles, preparing yourself for the breastfeeding journey seems easier than ever before. However, despite all the information available at our fingertips, there are still too many myths being punted as truths.
Here are ten of the most common myths you may have come across.
Myth 1: Babies that are breastfed become clingy.
Truth: Some babies and children are clingy, and others aren’t. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest it has anything to do with whether or not they were breastfed.
Myth 2: If your baby feeds often, they are not getting enough milk or nutrients.
Truth: Breast milk is very easy for babies to digest, which means that breastfed babies generally get hungrier more quickly than formula-fed babies. Newborn babies will feed every two to three hours and it is normal for baby to feed often. Regular feeding does not indicate that there is anything wrong with your breast milk.
Myth 3: If you get ill, you should immediately stop breastfeeding
Truth: If you catch a cold or flu, continuing to breastfeed your baby will protect them from the virus. By the time a mother’s symptoms develop, she would have already passed the virus on to her baby, and baby’s best protection against the virus is their mother’s breastmilk.
Myth 4: Breastfeeding protects you from getting pregnant
Truth: The number of families with children ten or eleven months apart in age serves as major evidence against this myth! Whilst breastfeeding offers around 98% protection, it is not guaranteed birth control.
Myth 5: You have to follow a plain diet while breastfeeding
Truth: Breastfeeding moms should follow a balanced diet. There is no need to avoid flavoursome foods, as baby would have been exposed to mom’s eating habits while they were in the womb. If your baby reacts to a specific food you eat, it’s best to consult a medical practitioner.
Myth 6: You have to wash your nipples every time before baby feeds.
Truth: There is no need to wash your nipples before breastfeeding. The nipples actually produce a substance that baby can recognise and has good bacteria that helps build baby’s own healthy immune system.
Myth 7: All breastfeeding moms experience pain and inflamed nipples
Truth: While it is not uncommon for moms to develop cracked nipples or painful nipples, it is not inevitable that they will. And if they do, a consultation with a lactation expert could help solve the problem. There are various things you can do to eliminate pain – do not feel as if you have to suffer through it!
Myth 8: Breastfeeding is easy.
Truth: Both mom and baby’s bodies are naturally equipped for breastfeeding. Babies are born with the reflex to look for their mothers breast, and mom’s body knows exactly when to start producing milk. This, however, does not mean breastfeeding is easy. No matter how well you are prepared, breastfeeding is likely to pose challenges along the way, and for some moms, it may be a very difficult process to master. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Vital Baby knows the beauty of breastfeeding, but also recognises the challenges it may pose. That’s why all Vital Baby breastfeeding accessories have been designed for ease, comfort and convenience. Find your perfect breast pump, bottle, breast milk storage bags or breast pads here: https://www.vitalbaby.co.za/products/.
Vital Baby products are available at: Clicks, Babies R Us, Baby City and online at Babies Africa, Loot and Takealot.
Learn more about Vital Baby on www.vitalbaby.co.za or follow them on social media @vitalbabysa.