Debunking Common Breastfeeding Myths



Breastfeeding is a topic that all appear to be having their own opinions and pointers about. Although one could have picked a couple of tips from chums and relatives meaning to offer help and quite frequently, erroneous data gets circulated – at times even spanning quite a few generations.

Several of these breastfeeding myths could dissuade a number of mothers from breastfeeding their little ones.

Here are several prevalent breastfeeding myths for separating gristle from marrow and getting the real facts.

Myth No.1- In case infants are feeding often then it is indicative of them not being able to get sufficient milk.

Truth- As breast milk is easily assimilated; infants usually feel hungry in briefer time periods as compared to formula or bottle-fed infants. It is perfectly apposite for newborns that are breastfed to nurse in 2-3 hourly time intervals.

breastfeeding mythsMyth No.2- Breasts when given a nursing break could aid in ensuring greater milk supply.

Truth- Actually, the contrary is true and more nursing translates to a directly proportional rise in milk production. When a mother takes a breastfeeding rest or break, the breast would in fact lower milk secretion.

The myth originated since missing a feed or milk pumped out in the course of the day resulted in increased milk production during night time. However, by the subsequent day, the mother would have lesser milk supply in case she skipped a feed. The sole means of ensuring steady milk production is to do regular milk expression as much as doable and minimally targeting 9 to ten instances during a day’s time for ensuring milk supply.

Myth No.3- Bottle fed infants have lengthier and better slumber as compared to breastfed babies.

Truth- Studies have suggested that bottle or formula-fed infants fail to have better slumber, though their span of sleep is lengthier. Since formula milk is not swiftly assimilated, hence there would be a lengthier time gap in-between feeds hence the infant might have a longer snooze.

However, the cons of formula feeds are that they stay for more time periods within the infant’s body hence eliciting fermentation and thus resulting in ‘particularly foul-smelling faeces’. Breastfed infants classically commence sleeping for lengthier time spans from four weeks of age onwards and shortly develop sleep patterns that are the analogous amounts of time as bottle-fed infants.

Myth No.4- Breastfed infants must not be offered formula feeds even occasionally or they could become puzzled or halt eating.

Truth- Infants usually engage in sucking action on their mother’s nipples whereas suckling action on the mother’s breasts. The disparity in-between duo behaviours atypically would baffle the infant. In case a mother senses the requirement for supplementing her infant’s feeds (especially in case of women intent on returning to their work schedules prior to finishing breastfeeding), then one could commence introducing the infant to formula feeds (1-2 feeds/day) from two to six weeks of age onwards. The infant would start developing the skills requisite for formula feeding while not losing capability of breastfeeding. A mother could commence using her breast milk when attempting to bottle feed and holding the infant near to her and cuddling as the bonding times are what hold analogous importance as the real breastfeeding.

Myth No.5- Breastfeeding brings about a change in the contour and volume of breasts or lowers sensitiveness.

Truth- Although gestational period does tend to change the feel and appearance of breast, specialists state that nursing is not causal to any alterations past that and much of this is a myth. In fact, breastfeeding could shield a woman by lowering her chances of developing breast cancer in future.

Myth No.6- For breastfeeding an infant, one must never awaken an infant who is sleeping.

Truth- In majority of the situations, an infant would awaken the mother and be all ready for feeding in a 2-3 hourly intervals. But, an infant could engage in vigorous feeding for 2-3hours (cluster feeding) then sleeping for lengthier time spans than normal.

It is alright to allow the infant to sleep for somewhat more time than normal, however not having more than a single 4 hourly time span of slumber in a day’s time. In case, a longer sleep pattern is occurring with regularity, then waking the infant when it is time for feeds as it is crucial that feeds be given as per schedule and mother must be expressing milk as planned for ensuring ample milk flow.

Myth No.7- Breastfeeding helps in averting pregnancy.

Truth- Breastfeeding is not an assured means of contraception, but several specialists do deem it to have 98 percent efficacy alike other contraceptive means. Specialists’ state that hormones produced due to nursing averts ovulation, thus hindering one’s capability of conceiving for nearly fifteen months post-childbirth.

No sooner has a woman got her menstrual periods, she is capable of conceiving and in a number of females it could be as soon as 6 months following delivery.

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