World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Common Myths About Breastfeeding Busted!
World Breastfeeding Week is observed during the first week of August. The theme for the World Breastfeeding Week 2021 is 'Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility'.
World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Breastfeeding is beneficial to both mother and baby
- World Breastfeeding Week is observed from 1st August to 7th August
- Breastfeeding mothers should consume a healthy diet
- Breastfeeding can help mother burn more calories
After giving birth to your child, you will hear a lot of suggestions and advice regarding every aspect of raising your baby including breastfeeding. Therefore, it becomes very important for every expectant mother to get the facts right on breastfeeding in advance, to be able to combat the myths and stay firm on her decision to breastfeed her baby. As World Breastfeeding Week is going on, here are some common myths around breastfeeding you should stop believing.
World Breastfeeding Week: Common myths around breastfeeding
Myth: Breastfeeding will cause droopy breasts
In reality, hormonal changes in pregnancy cause the ligaments underneath the breasts to loosen and stretch and result in the sagging of breasts as you gain weight.
As you begin to nurse, your breasts grow in size, however, a proper breastfeeding routine will bring down their size and you can expect them to return to their pre-pregnancy size once you start to wean your baby unless you've gained or lost a significant amount of weight.
Myth: Small breasts produce insufficient milk
The size and shape of the breast vary for every woman and there is no perfect or ideal size of the breast for breastfeeding. The fact is that breast tissue to nurse a baby grows in response to pregnancy regardless of your breast size.
Moreover, every baby is different and the anatomic compatibility between the mother and the baby is what makes for a better breastfeeding experience.
Myth: You need to drink enough milk to get adequate breast milk
The quantity of milk a mother consumes is not related to the production of breast milk. However, it is important to consume a well-rounded balanced diet and stay hydrated. The body absorbs the necessary nutrients from your diet to add to your breast milk.
Besides, if a mother is undernourished, breastfeeding will add to her undernourishment as her body continues to supply the baby with nutrients.
Myth: Consume only bland foods while breastfeeding
While there are some foods such as dairy products, soy, peanuts, fish, and shellfish may cross into breast milk and upset the baby's stomach, however, by the time foods you eat are used to make breast milk, the potentially upsetting elements have been broken down and shouldn't affect your baby at all.
Go with the wait and watch approach and experiment with your diet if your baby seems fussy after you eat certain foods, avoid them.
Myth: You can't get pregnant while breastfeeding
You can get pregnant while breastfeeding. However, the chances of conceiving are less in the first six months of breastfeeding - your period has not returned, and you are nursing the baby every two to three hours, even at night.
Myth: You shouldn't breastfeed if you're sick
If you are having a cold or the flu and continue to nurse, it actually helps protect your baby from illness.
The germ-fighting antibodies prepared by your body are transferred to your baby every time you nurse. As a result, your baby develops immunity against the infection you may pass on. The baby is unlikely to get sick at all, or if he/she does, it will be mild.
Myth: If you don't nurse, you're not a good mother
While breastfeeding does provide significant health benefits for your baby and you, however, deciding not to breastfeed - or being unable to breastfeed for whatever reason - doesn't make you a bad mother.
Go for formula milk that you feel good about, and move on.
Myth: Quality of breast milk begins to decline after six months
Over time, breast milk doesn't decline in quality rather it changes in composition to suit your baby's developing needs.
The reason we introduce complementary foods at six months is simply that your baby's nutritional/caloric needs are no longer met by breast milk alone. Hence, it is not because breast milk has lost its value and is no longer important.
(Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynaecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture Clinic)
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