New moms often find themselves on the receiving end of all kinds of advice. Well-meaning friends and family try to be helpful by giving breastfeeding advice because they’ve “been through” the breastfeeding journey far longer than you have.
Many new breastfeeding mothers don’t dare question these pieces of advice. However, some of this topics are “old wives tales” or pamahiin that have no scientific basis or even logical justification. It can get confusing, what with all the misinformation it offers.
So, it’s time to bust some breastfeeding myths with a dose of reality. Here are 5 of the most common myths and the facts behind them. (Read: 5 Celeb Babies Who Were Born in Pandemic Year 2020)
Breastfeeding myth: Breastfeeding is easy.
Breastfeeding is indeed economical because you don’t have the additional cost of formula. However, for those who say that breastfeeding a baby is easy, many mothers would actually shake their head in disbelief. While babies are born with the reflex to look for their mother’s breast, many mothers need practical support when it comes to positioning their baby for breastfeeding and making sure their baby is correctly attached to the breast. Breastfeeding takes time and practice for both mothers and babies. Plus, it is time-consuming! (Read: 5 Things You Really Shouldn’t Say to a New Mom)
Breastfeeding myth: You won’t make enough breastmilk if your breasts don’t grow during pregnancy.
Worrying if you have enough breastmilk is very common, after all, it will be main food source of your baby for months! However, not being able to make enough breastmilk should be the least of your worries– especially if you think your breast has not grown while you’re pregnant. Only a small percentage of women who have milk supply problems say that their breasts did not change in size during pregnancy. More often than not, women with small breasts can still make plenty of breastmilk! But if you think you’re not producing enough, there are ways to boost your breastmilk supply.
Breastfeeding myth: A mother must drink milk to make milk.
Just a disclaimer: There’s no harm in drinking milk. However, drinking cow’s milk to increase human milk is not true. Milk production is tied to how well the breast is being drained of breastmilk– it is a supply and demand situation. Your breast will begin increasing or decreasing milk production in accordance to the needs of your baby. But while it is not necessary to drink milk, always remember that you need to drink enough water while you are breastfeeding. (Read: Hot Cocoa Can Make You Smarter, Study Finds)
Breastfeeding myth: You should wash your nipples before breastfeeding.
Staying clean is necessary. But washing your nipples every single time before you breastfeed is not really necessary– unless your baby reacts negatively. When babies are born, they are already familiar with their mother’s smells and sounds. Plus the nipples produce a substance and “good bacteria” that the baby smells to help build his immune system for life.
Breastfeeding myth: You can’t exercise while breastfeeding.
Exercise is healthy– and you don’t have to skip it if you’re breastfeeding. While this may sound as a good excuse to skip out on exercising, there is no validity to this at all. Yes, mama, there is no reason that you can’t breastfeed after your work out. The belief that babies refuse the breast after a mom has worked out is probably because of the salty sweat on the areola and the nipple– the taste of salt is not as nice as sweet breastmilk. So just take a shower if your baby is refusing your breast but if it does not bother the little one, then by all means continue your workout and breastfeeding plans.