This is the #breastfeedingweek. We are all aware of the importance of breast feeding but have you ever thought about the authenticity of myths related to breastfeeding?
MYTH 1- Breastfeeding mother should eat stomachfull of food
It is a notion that is handed over through generations that the breastfeedinf mother should always eat full lest their milk production will deplete. It is not the quantity but the quality that matters. Eat ample amount of nuts, leafy vegetables, sprouted green gram etc. You can cut down on carbs though getting rid of carbs is not a good for anyone be it feeding mother not.
MYTH 2- If mother consume, spicy food, child will have indigestion.
This is one of the most bizarre and absurd beliefs connected to breastfeeding. If the mother consumes anything that is spicy or that which causes indigestion, how would the child have it? Will the breastmilk get spicy? I have never been able to fathom the psychology behind spreading this.
Myth 3- Exercise depletes breastmilk
After my first pregnancy, this is the most advised myth that I had to hear. You should lie down straight. Else you will have back pain later and your breastmilk will deplete. Are the mammary glands connected to some tube that will get entangled if we move around? On the contrary, mild exercise post partum will increase your blood circulation and helps in more lactation. Regarding the back pain, aunty who advised had pain everywhere except her back. So it could be a matter of choice where you want to bear the pain. Pun unintended!
Myth 4: If someone sees you feeding your child, your breastmilk will deplete and your child will fall sick.
Well, breastmilk seems to be a lazy worker who is waiting for a chance to be deplete. And child’s health has no connection to immunity, hygiene or anything else but the eyes of the viewer who sees the feeding show.
Myth 5: The right age to wean is two years.
‘If you wean before two years, the child will never be immune. If you wean after two years, your chastity will be affected. Isn’t that so?’ There is not right age to wean your child. It is all up to the choice of the mother, child and the circumstances. There are kids who wean naturally when they are 1 or so. There are kids who are being breastfed till 5 years or so. It is good of you can feed your child as much as you can but if someone doesn’t, it’s their choice. Well, our society is still unaware of the word choice.
Myth 6: If a breastfeeding mother consumes cold food, the child will get cold/cough/chest infection.
I clarified this with my pediatrician. He said even if the child consumes cold food he/she won’t get cold/cough much less a mother. Can you beat that? This doctor had advised me to give antibiotics mixed with ice cream. According to him, unless your child has tonsilitis, there is no connection between ice cream and infections. So, should we mull over more about a mother’s diet?
A MOTHER CAN FEED A CHILD EVEN IF SHE HAS COLD OR COUGH OR INDIGESTION OR ANYTHING OF SUCH SORTS. JUST THAT THEY SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO COUGH OR SNEEZE ON THE CHILD. A MASK WILL DO THE NEEDFUL. BUT IF SHE TAKING ANY MEDICINES, SHE SHOUKD NOT FEED THE CHILD WITHOUT CONSULTING THE DOCTOR.
Keeping aside every awareness lessons or myths regarding breastfeeding, it is a beautiful feeling. It connects the mother with the child. They feel each other’s heartbeat. They form eye contact. They communicate and a life long unbreakable bond is formed. That is what matters. While my Son was in NICU, I had to express and give milk but was not able to express more than 10ml. But the moment I saw him, my dress was all wet. It is beyond our control. It’s magic.
These are not all. There are a plethora of myths connected to pregnancy. Will be discussing them sometime later.