Every mom you know has probably given you tonnes of advice about breastfeeding that may or may not be useful and as a new mom, you don’t even get the time to fact check everything. This is why so many moms end up blindly following something that isn’t true. Here, we have busted 7 common myths related to breastfeeding and we have backed them up with real, solid facts.
MYTH #1: You should not breastfeed if you have clogged ducts
Fact: This is the opposite of the truth. Breastfeeding and pumping more often will help you clear up those ducts as it will help release the milk from the ducts. Avoid wearing tight bras as this can also cause blocked ducts. According to the Journal of Women’s Health, you can also try massaging your breasts and expressing milk by hand to clear out the ducts. In addition to this, you can place a warm compress to try clear the ducts.
MYTH #2: You have to stop breastfeeding if you fall sick
Fact: Your baby is likely to have been exposed to your infection before you realized that you were sick. According to NCBI, continuing to breastfeed will help your baby since your breast milk will now contain antibodies to fight the infection.
MYTH #3: Breastfeeding will cause breasts to sag
Fact: According to sciencedaily.com, breastfeeding is not necessarily the cause of sagging breasts. Your breasts will start to swell up during pregnancy and they will eventually start to droop due to the stress on the ligaments that hold up the breasts. Your pre-pregnancy bra size, age, and BMI will indicate how likely it is for your breasts to sag. Bottom line is - your breasts are likely to sag whether you choose to breastfeed or not.
MYTH #4: You can only eat bland foods while breastfeeding
Fact: Your body will digest all the food you eat and extract the nutrients from it to produce the breast milk. Lactation link explains this perfectly. The gas producing elements from the foods you eat will be negligible after it gets broken down. So go ahead and eat your favorite spicy food. In fact, studies have shown that babies prefer garlicky milk!
MYTH #5: Smaller breasts produce less milk
Fact: The size of your breasts only indicates the amount of fat tissue in your breasts. Mothers with smaller breasts are just as capable of producing enough breast milk as mothers with larger breasts. The International Milk Genomics Consortium has explained this in detail.
MYTH #6: Breastfeeding is a reliable form of birth control
Fact: To say that breastfeeding by itself acts as birth control is a bit of a stretch. According to WebMD, there are 3 conditions to be met for this to be true. If your period has not resumed yet, your baby is still under 6 months and you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby, then there is a 98% chance that you won’t get pregnant. If any of these are not met, then there is a high chance of conception.
MYTH #7: Your baby will refuse the breast once they get used to pumped milk
Fact: Most babies have no issues switching between bottled milk and breast milk. Make sure your baby gets only breast milk for at least the first month. You can then introduce one bottle a day and increase as per your needs. Older babies may naturally start to wean off the breast milk once introduced to the bottle and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Research has shown that the common reasons for babies to refuse breastfeeding are either respiratory problems, slow or insufficient milk, or issues with the breast milk itself (mastitis, change in nursing patterns, etc).