Prevalent Myths vs Facts about Breast Feeding

Simplified information about Breast Feeding for new mothers

A must read about Breast Feeding

Myth : You should wash your nipples with soap or Dettol before breastfeeding.

Fact : Washing your nipples before breastfeeding isn’t necessary. When babies are born, they are already very familiar with their own mother’s smells and sounds. The nipples produce a substance that the baby smells and has "good bacteria" that helps to build babies' own healthy immune system for life.

Myth : First feed should be "Honey" in a new born child.

Fact : First feed should be the colostrum which is a first yellow thin liquid that comes out from mother's breast. This is rich in Immunoglobulins which protects your child from infections.

Myth : If your breast fed baby has more number of liquid stools they may be because you have eaten something wrong.

Fact : A breast fed infant can pass as many as 8 to 10 loose stools in a day, the stools are golden yellow and seedy, but sometimes can be green which is because of an decrease transit. He/she may pass yellow water each time there is passage of gas. You may eat anything you like to eat. Eat a good meal and include enough liquids in your diet.

Myth : Milk production will increase if you increase more milk in your diet.

Fact : The more the child latches on to your breast the more milk will be produced. Milk is produced by a feedback reflex, the more it is emptied more is produced. So having more milk will not increase milk production.

Myth : Not having enough milk !

Fact : There is nothing like "not having enough milk". All mothers have enough milk production for their children, provided they are relaxed and the child latches on properly.

Myth : Breast milk should be the only diet till a child is two years old.

Fact : Supplements, in the form of semisolids should be started at 6 months as only breast milk is not sufficient after 6 months for the growing child.

Myth : Mother should not breast feed the child if she has fever.

Fact : Continue breastfeeding, even if you have a fever. Because breast milk carries your antibodies. These can protect your baby from the full-blown infection. Try to prevent the spread of infection by good hand washing. Do this after blowing your nose (for colds) or after stools (for diarrhea).

Myth : Breast feeding mothers should cover their heads, oil their hair and not wash her hair as the child could catch a cold. She should stay in a dark and dingy place for first forty days.

Fact : Breast feeding mothers should stay as fresh, bright and smart as they are and as they can. She should wash her hair as frequently as she wants and she should stay mentally happy because that will help her produce sufficient milk.

Myth : It is necessary for the child to pass stools every day in first 4-8 weeks.

Fact : Between 4-8 weeks of age some breast fed infants may pass infrequent stools, they can pass one stool every 4-7 days. They should not be offered any suppository.