Just like being a mother is a boon, breastfeeding too is nothing short of a miracle. After the overwhelming feeling of becoming a mother, comes a stage of unmatched satisfaction, where you feed your baby with those precious drops of life.
Being brought up in an Indian society, we often face many hardships when we start to breastfeed our new born. The elders, specially the women, don’t understand how a baby can survive exclusively on breastmilk for the initial six months, let alone the suppressed feed for the first two days.
There is enough said and understood about the norms of breastfeeding. The myths have clouded our judgement for decades. Now it’s time to get over the myths and try to make responsible decisions. After all, breastfeeding is the most healthy thing your baby can consume for his initial growth.
MYTH #1: Milk won’t suffice
During our initial days of motherhood, we often hear that our milk won’t be enough for our baby. We are also driven into fear with the thought that our baby’s growth will be suppressed because of the lack of nutrition. Taking the decision of exclusively breastfeeding a child for the initial six months is the most tedious task for a new mother.
We need to understand that nature works in it’s own smart ways. A mother’s milk is more than sufficient for the growth of a baby. All his nutritional needs will be met with the breastmilk. Along with the nutrition, he would also get the anti bodies which a mother’s body has making all throughout her life. It will increase his immunity and he will be less prone to illnesses.
MYTH #2 : The thirst
Breastmilk is the perfect miracle potion for a baby. There is no need for water or any solids after a baby drinks a stomach full of breastmilk. Researches have proved that the breastmilk is of two qualities. The fore milk, which come in the beginning of the feed consists 80% water. It is very thin and is meant to curb the thirst of a baby. The hind milk is thick and consist of all the nutrition. This is the reason the mother is asked to empty one breast before starting with the second one. If only the fore milk is fed, the baby will be hungry often and will lead you to think that he is not getting enough of it.
MYTH #3 : Your illness will transfer to your baby through your milk
This is one more of those assumption based myths which prevail in our country. When a breastfeeding mother is suffering from an illness, her milk naturally transfers the anti bodies to the baby to safeguard him from the mother’s illness. It’s a natural process. For instance, till the time you will not breathe in directly into a baby’s nose, he will not catch your cold. His immunity is getting stronger every time he is consuming your milk.
MYTH #4 : Initial yellow milk is harmful to the baby
As soon as a mother delivers a baby, her breasts release a yellowish mucus which is called colostrum. This is the first nutrition which a baby gets from his mom. In many places, this is regarded as toxic and is disposed off. It’s absolutely a superstition based myth that colostrum is harmful for a child. It is the nutrition packed potion, which gives him the initial boost of immunity.
MYTH #5 : Every cry of the baby needs to be fulfilled by breastmilk
In India it is like a norm that every time a baby cries, it’s the mother’s moral duty to feed him the breastmilk, without knowing the cause of his crying. He might be sleepy, or just irritated with a wet diaper. Every cry doesn’t mean he is hungry and we as mothers should not burden our child with unnecessary dose of food.
MYTH# 6 : Breastfeeding is a natural birth control
This is a most common myth about breastfeeding. Women often tend to advise that breastfeeding has been acting like a birth control for them. It is absolutely untrue and there is no such evidence which says that a woman can’t conceive a child while she is breast feeding. There are however many instances where women conceive within a month or two after giving birth.
MYTH#7 – Breast feeding will make your breasts sag
There is no correlation between breast feeding and the sagging of the breast. The breast can only become saggy if you don’t take care of the position in which you feed the child. It’s said that the breast will sag once the feeding stops. They don’t sag, they get back to their normal size. Just keep up the skin care for your breasts and don’t feed your child in a position which stretches out the skin of your breast.
We have come a far way from believing everything blindly. Let’s not get carried away with the false notions and the myths which relate to the the most blessed feeling of all.
Happy breastfeeding, Happy Parenting