Nowadays, most parents are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to breastfeed their babies in a bid to keep them healthy. Even though producing breastmilk occurs naturally as early as during pregnancy, breastfeeding is considered a skill that both the baby and mother needs to learn. Well, some babies are born with excellent sucking skills, whereas others take time to learn how to latch. There are however many myths which surround breastfeeding, but this article shall explore five of them.
• Pain is normal during breastfeeding
Many people think that it is normal to feel pain while breastfeeding. This assertion is considered a myth because it isn’t normal to feel pain throughout the whole process of breastfeeding. Many new mothers describe breastfeeding as painful and uncomfortable, but this feeling is known to occur only at the start of breastfeeding and lasts for a few seconds. This pain is usually associated with the sensation that comes with your baby latching but as soon as a mother gets accustomed to breastfeeding within a few days or weeks, it will cease to hurt. That said, persistent pain while breastfeeding is a sign of a poor latch, hence, the mother should seek help from an expert.
• Wash your nipples before breastfeeding
Another common myth about breastfeeding is the fact that it is imperative for a nursing mother to wash her nipples before breastfeeding her baby. As logical as this may sound, washing the nipple isn’t at all necessary. Bear in mind that before babies are born, they are already familiar with how their mothers smell and the nipples are known to produce a substance with a familiar smell. Besides, the nipples also produce good bacteria that help to build your baby’s immune system, thereby keeping him or her healthy.
• You must not use formula if you want to breastfeed
Some people think that you can’t use formula while breastfeeding. Well, this is a myth because even though breastmilk is highly recommended for babies, some mothers may decide to use formula on some occasions while continuing with breastfeeding. That said, mothers are advised to seek information from a lactation specialist on the best formula and products that can go hand in hand with breastfeeding. Moreover, while giving your child formula from time to time, it is imperative to keep breastmilk production going by offering the breast to your baby as often as possible.
• Mothers must not breastfeed if they are sick
This is a popular myth flying around that mothers must not breastfeed if they are sick. Well, depending on the type of illness, a mother can breastfeed as long as she gets the right treatment, eats, rests and drinks plenty of water. In most circumstances, the antibodies the mother makes to treat her disease or illness, will be passed on to the body, thereby building his or her own immunity and defenses. Remember, it is always important to seek medical advice if you are suffering from any illness.
• It’s impossible to take medications while breastfeeding
It is not true that nursing mothers cannot take medications. Breastfeeding mothers may be obliged to take medications at a specific time or in a specific dosage as long as they consult with a medical professional. Thus, nursing mothers must always inform their doctors that they are breastfeeding and in situations where they buy over-the-counter drugs, they must ensure that they read the instructions properly.