Estimated read time : 5 minutes
Is it normal for breastfeeding to hurt? Am I not producing enough milk? Breastfeeding will help me lose weight? We often come across so many stories about breastfeeding and about what’s right and what’s not. As a new mom each one of us are faced with innumerable questions and multiple answers.
The WHO recommends all mothers to exclusively feed their children till the age of 6 months. With a horde of benefits for both mother and child, breastfeeding is considered as the most nutritious food that you can give your new-born. Commonly referred to as ‘Liquid Gold’, it takes care of all your baby’s nutritional needs completely.
However, around all this information passed down by other mothers and concerned aunts, new moms are often bombarded with a whole lot of facts about breastfeeding, some not even true.
Listed below are some common myths and the truth behind them:
Truth: Breastfeeding is a process that you need to get comfortable with and in spite of what anyone might tell you, each mother takes her own time to get used to feeding her child. There is always a learning curve associated with breastfeeding and while this may seem easy to some, it might not be the same for all.
The best thing for any new mother to do, however, is to not panic. Just as everything is new for you, it is new for your little baby too. Give it time and it will all fall into place for both of you.
Truth: However much we would love for that to be true, the fact is that it is not. A breastfeeding mother more than anyone else, needs to ensure that whatever she is eating is nutritious and healthy.
It is extremely important for mothers to ensure that their meals are all balanced and free of excessive oils and sugars. So it will be a good idea to lay off those delicious pastries and that mouth-watering French fries!
Truth: A child who is exclusively breastfed will sleep throughout the night only when s(he) is ready. Every baby is different and while some might sleep through the night earlier than another baby, others might even take up to a year to get that good 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
A lot of times, sleep patterns of a baby depend not on their food but on other factors ranging from wanting more assurance and comfort from the mother to a more consistent bedtime routine. The best thing to do however, is to let your child decide when they feel comfortable enough to start sleeping peacefully. How you could however, contribute, is by creating a sleep conducive environment for your baby. A warm bath, some soothing music and a few extra cuddles, sometimes go a long way.
Truth: If you have a flu or cold, it is OK to continue breastfeeding. Breastmilk is probably the best food that you give your little baby. Packed with antibodies and lots of nutrients, it protects your baby from most infections. What you should however, probably avoid, is sneezing or coughing next to your baby and maybe lay off those extra kisses for just a little bit?
Truth: While this is true for some women, but only in the first few days of her child’s birth, this does not hold true once the baby starts feeding. As your little baby gets used to the entire process of feeding and the routine around it, the supply of milk increases. In fact, most women, produce more milk than what the baby actually needs.
So, for all those women out there who worry that they will not be able to feed their baby, it is time to relax and stop worrying about the quantity of your milk but instead concentrate on your amazing bundle of joy.
Feeding your little one for the first time can be quite daunting and it is always good to know the right way to do it. But there are no right ways or wrong ones. At the end of the day, what works for one mother may not work for you. All you need to do is sit back, breathe and trust that nature will take over as you enjoy the start of this magical journey called motherhood!