There are a lot of rumors about breastfeeding floating around, it’s important to separate fact from fiction.
We can all agree that the Internet is filled to the brim with all kinds of disinformation, and breastfeeding is no exception. Each breastfeeding experience is unique and there’s a treasure trove of information about experiences and good practices. However, there are myths which are not based in reality as well, especially when it comes about the efficacy and/or negative effects of breastfeeding on the mom.
These fears may cause some moms to pull away from breastfeeding, especially those who may encounter challenges and rely on the internet to find solutions for breastfeeding problems.
There’s a breastfeeding future for every mom, and it’s important to know the truth for moms to make the right choices for themselves and their little ones.
1. Breastfeeding hurts!
Breastfeeding is a learned skill for both moms and newborns. While there might be initial discomfort while the baby gets used to it, the process itself is completely painless and releases large amounts of oxytocin (the bonding hormone), which relieves stress and strengthens the strongest emotional bond humans know. Pain is a signal that there’s something wrong and if it persists, mothers should contact their doctors immediately.
2. Formula is more common than breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the most natural and nutritious way of providing sustenance for the baby – and exclusive breastfeeding in the 1st 6 months remains the most common choice among new moms. Moreover, breastfeeding is by far the cheapest method, saving moms thousands of dollars, annually. More than 70% of mothers in the US choose to exclusively breastfeed, so this rumor is completely false.
3. But isn’t formula better than breastmilk?
Completely false. The mother’s milk is specially produced to provide her newborn with ALL necessary nutrients and antibodies for quick and healthy development, as well as growth. Additionally, the concentration of micro-nutrients and nutritional value differs vastly between nature-produced breast milk and formula. WHO recommends breastfeeding over any other method of sustenance to facilitate healthy baby development
4. I will spoil my child with breastfeeding
Even though this statement is common, this notion is completely false. Breastfeeding is the strongest mechanism for forming a strong, healthy physical and emotional bond between the mom and her newborn. It is through breastfeeding the baby feels the comfort and safety of its mother in a strange and scary world. This is the basis for forming the secure emotional attachment style.
Breastfed babies grow up to be more self-reliant and independent since their most basic physical and psychological needs were met.
5. Breastfeeding will make my breasts saggy
Even though pregnancy puts a tremendous strain on the mother’s body and it suffers many changes, no research shows that there is a correlation between breastfeeding and saggy breasts. Even though breasts may grow in size during pregnancy, breastfeeding itself helps moms return to their pre-pregnancy figure faster than moms who choose not to breastfeed.
6. My breasts are too big/small to breastfeed
Moms and breasts come in all shapes and sizes but that doesn’t affect their ability to breastfeed, at all. Even though larger breasts might make the process a bit more complicated, with a bit of patience, it shouldn’t be a problem at all.
The size of the breast does not affect its ability to produce milk so it’s important not to fall for this myth and deprive the baby of the best experience in infancy.
7. If I don’t produce enough milk, I shouldn’t breastfeed
This is too, a completely false notion. Today, there are many options for moms to improve their milk volume and supply, from adding galactagogic foods to their diet to various useful supplements which can help with this issue.
Most importantly, nothing can substitute breastfeeding when it comes to price and value, in terms of both economic and developmental benefits for both mom and newborn.
The child’s happiness is the ultimate reward for every mother and the importance of breastfeeding can’t be overstated in creating it. It is the basis for a happy and healthy childhood, filled with laughter and joy – and moms who choose to exclusively breastfeed report higher levels of harmony and contentment when it comes to raising their children.