During the first months of life, breast milk is the best food a baby may need to grow healthy. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and its maintenance until 2 years or more.”
But breastfeeding can be a great challenge, especially for first-time mothers, so for any questions, it is better to consult a specialist.
For this reason, coinciding with World Breastfeeding week, which is celebrated from August 1 to 7, Lisa Duek, nurse consultant for health at mediQuo -the 24/7 medical chat where to consult directly with doctors and health specialists-, explains 12 myths about breastfeeding to solve doubts, alleviate the concern of many mothers and thus establish successful breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding is easy. Breastfeeding takes time and practice. While babies are born with reflexes that help them find their breast and start breastfeeding, many mothers need advice and support during the first few weeks to learn how to properly position their baby or how to make sure they latch on and suck. good.
- While breastfeeding, you cannot medicate. Although there are some medications that are best to avoid while breastfeeding, most medications can be used. Still, it’s important to check with your doctor and make sure it’s breastfeeding-compliant, as well as reading the directions on any over-the-counter medication.
- Breastfeeding hurts: sore nipples are inevitable. Breastfeeding should not be painful, although many mothers experience discomfort in the first days after delivery. With proper support, by positioning the baby securely and securely attached to the breast, nipple sores and cracks can be avoided. If it is difficult for a mother to breastfeed her baby, the support of a maternity nurse or lactation consultant can help, as well as some solutions that exist in the market (such as teat cups).
- If babies are fed often, it means they are not getting enough milk. Because breast milk is easier to digest, breastfed babies tend to feed more often than artificial milk. After the first few weeks it is normal for them to feed every 2-3 hours.
- Avoid certain foods while breastfeeding. Although some foods like chili, onion, curry, aioli or cabbage can change the taste of milk, most babies get used to the different flavors of breast milk without any problem. If the baby reacts to a particular food and becomes restless or has more gas than normal, it is advisable to avoid that food for about a week and then reintroduce it.
- You have to wash your nipples before breastfeeding. It is not necessary. The baby is familiar with the smell and this helps him relax. In addition, the nipples produce a substance that contains “good bacteria” to help develop the baby’s immune system.
- Newborns should go to the nurseryso that the mother can rest. Immediately after birth, the ideal is to “skin to skin” to begin creating that important bond between mother and baby. If the mother cannot do it, then the partner or another family member can take over.
- Giving your breasta “break”can help produce more milk. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you produce. The omission of a feeding can have a negative effect since the quantity of milk will be reduced. It is advisable to breastfeed or pump at least 9 to 10 times a day for optimal production.
- You cannot give formulaif you want to breastfeed. There is no medical reason not to incorporate formula if necessary. While breastfeeding continues, some mothers need to use formula because of work placement or other logistical reasons. To maintain the production of breast milk, it is advisable to offer the breast to the baby as often as possible.
- Many mothers cannot produce enough milk. Almost all mothers produce enough milk to feed their baby. Breast milk production is determined by the baby’s demand and the correct position on the breast. It also helps if the mother is well fed and hydrated.
- You should not breastfeed if you are sick. Although it depends on the type of disease, breastfeeding can generally continue without interruption when sick. In addition, being sick can have benefits for the baby, since you will provide the necessary antibodies to face the disease and will build their own defenses. Still, it’s important to make sure you get the right treatment and rest, eat, and drink well.
- Breastfeeding babies do n’t sleep as wellas formula-fed babies . Babies fed formula usually sleep a little longer between feedings, but do not sleep better than babies who breastfeed. According to various studies, babies fed artificial milk do not sleep better, although they can sleep longer, because bottle milk is not digested as quickly. Breastfed babies generally start sleeping longer from 4 weeks of age.