Breastfeeding week was celebrated from 1st of August to 7th of August, 2019. Breast milk is the best nutrition a child can get. Many studies have proven that breast milk is the most nutritious food on Earth! No other food comes even close. How cool is that! WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months and breastfeeding for at least 2 years.
While breastfeeding is very common in India, there are a huge amount of myths and misconceptions surrounding breastfeeding. So many, in fact, that new mothers are almost always scared of doing something wrong.
This week, let us talk about some of these common myths and the facts behind them.
If you eat cold stuff, your baby will end up catching a cold
If you have delivered a baby in the summers, you will know the grief of having to avoid ice creams and cold drinks or even chilled water. A month or two is fine, but 6 months seem a very long time to forgo cold things, don’t they? So here’s the good news. You can have cold stuff moderately. There’s no reason to go off cold foods fully.
Child is crying, his stomach is not full
The most common complaint a new mother has to hear. Nobody considers that the said mother is already panicking about why her baby is crying without a break. But do the criticizing people realize that a baby cries for absolutely everything? It’s not as if the baby cries only out of hunger and says out other things aloud! If the baby pees more than 6 times a day and shows steady weight gain, it means that the baby’s needs are met.
No tea or coffee, the child will turn dark
Many people seem to think that the child’s skin colour will be directly affected by what the mother eats or drinks. While tea and coffee are to be consumed moderately at any time, it is because they contain caffeine which is not good for health. But people have this habit of saying things that don’t make sense. By their logic, then, if you consume green veggies, will the baby turn green?
Don’t step out in the cold/don’t feed immediately after a bath
One common misconception is that the breast milk becomes “cold” after the mother has had a bath or has been exposed to cold temperatures. However, we humans are warm-blooded animals. Our internal body temperature remains the same whatever the conditions outside may be. You can feed your child anytime, anywhere with no issues.
Most new mothers are advised galactagogues (medicines that stimulate milk production). However, if you feel that your supply is established, you need not take them anymore. Overuse of galactagogues can cause overproduction of milk leading to engorging and pain. It may even lead to painful cysts. Do not take galactagogues unless your gynaecologist advices you to.
Breast milk is tailor-made for your baby’s need. The more your baby sucks at your breast, the more milk is produced.
Breast milk increases your baby’s immunity. Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of getting breast cancer. Breast is best!
Any other myths you have come across? Let’s spread awareness all around!