When you’re a new mom, a lot of people will give you advice even when you don’t ask for them. When it comes to breastfeeding, beware of these common breastfeeding myths that may hurt you and your baby. Well, except the last one. The last one will make you laugh.
Myth: You need to eat malunggay and drink plenty of soup. Otherwise, your milk will dry up.
Fact: The single best way to establish your milk supply is to breastfeed directly as often as your baby wants. Sometimes, moms get paranoid that their milk supply is not enough when, in fact, it is. Taking galactagogues such as malunggay, fenugreek, mother’s milk and some medicines will be useless if you don’t breastfeed on demand.
Myth: You cannot breastfeed when you are stressed/tired/hungry because it will harm your baby.
Fact: There is no evidence that breastfeeding when stressed, tired or hungry is detrimental to the baby’s health. Often, breastfeeding calms the mom too. The suckling motion at the breast triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which is not only responsible for the let-down of milk but also for feelings of calmness, attachment, and love.
Myth: You have to stop breastfeeding when under medication.
Fact: Most over-the-counter and prescription medicines are safe for breastfeeding mothers. Very few medicines pose significant risks to the baby and are contraindicated during breastfeeding. To check if your medication is safe to take while breastfeeding, go to LactMed, an online database of drugs and their effects in breastfed babies.
Myth: You can stop breastfeeding after six months because your milk will have no nutrients by then.
Fact: You reap the benefits of breastfeeding for as long as you continue to breastfeed. Even as your baby starts eating solid foods, breast milk remains to be a great source of nutrition to help him grow. Remember that breastfeeding is more than just the milk. Having your baby attached to your breast, nurturing him skin-to-skin, has psychological benefits as well.
Myth: One of your breasts make milk. The other makes water.
Fact: Breast milk is composed of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. Human breasts make milk. Both of them. Need proof? Express milk from both breasts and compare.
Crash Course in Breastfeeding:
Step 4: Breastfeeding Myths