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Busted : Myths about Breastfeeding

1. It’s normal for breastfeeding to hurt: While initially breastfeeding might seem an uncomfortable process, but it is not supposed to be painful. Any sort of pain or discomfort should last up to a few days, beyond which if it persists, there might be something wrong. Any pain that is more than mild might be caused if the baby is not latched properly or you might be suffering from a yeast infection in the nipples. It is normal for the breasts to be tender and sensitive for a couple of days but it must not cause intense pain or any damage to the nipples.

2. You must eat only bland foods while breastfeeding: Many people believe that if you eat sour and spicy food, the taste will transfer to your milk and affect the baby. Certain foods like cabbage or broccoli, are said to be upsetting for the baby. This is not true. Vitamins and mineral levels are consistent in the breast milk irrespective of the diet. There is no such perfect diet to be followed while breastfeeding. Your body will extract important elements to form the breast milk. Few foods like dairy products, soy, shellfish can affect the baby’s stomach. You need not experiment around and anticipate your baby’s reactions. You can consult the top gynecologist in Delhi by visiting Rosewalk hospital and discuss your concerns. There are no such particular foods that will help your body produce more milk.

3. Many mothers can’t make enough milk: A majority of women produce breast milk more than required. If a baby gains weight too slowly or loses weight, it does not indicate that the amount of breastmilk is not enough. This might be caused if the breastmilk does not reach the baby properly. This happens if the baby is not latched properly. It is very important for new mothers to learn to latch their babies in a proper position. This should be taught and demonstrated by doctors or an experienced professional. If the baby wants frequent feeding, you need not doubt yourself. Most mothers easily produce the amount of milk required for their baby but some might need to work hard to maintain the supply. This can be treated and resolved with the right support and guidance.

4. You can’t take any medication during your breastfeeding: You need not give up on breastfeeding your baby if you have a minor cold, flu, or viral fever. The protective antibodies in the breast milk help in developing the immune system and fight infections and illness. Some medicines are not recommended while breastfeeding. You must read the instructions before starting any medications. You must inform your gynecologist in Delhi that you are breastfeeding when you are visiting Rosewalk hospital for any other health concerns.

5. There is not enough iron in your breastmilk for your baby: Breast milk contains the right and sufficient amount of iron. Babies who are breastfed have enough iron to last up to the first six months. It is not recommended to give solid foods with more iron content before she turns six months old. After six months, the iron content stored begins to decrease and you can start giving iron-rich solid foods.

6. Modern formula milk is as nutritious as breast milk: Formula milk does not contain living cells, hormones, antibodies, and enzymes which are important for the all-round development of the baby. The breast milk has antibodies that develop the immune system and protect the baby. The modern formula milk superficially contains the nutrients. Breastmilk is produced in the mother’s baby and caters to the needs of the baby.

7. Breastfeeding causes sagging breasts: Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the ligaments underneath the breasts to stretch and loosen. When you begin to breastfeed your baby, your breasts may temporarily become swollen with milk and grow larger. This process is called engorgement. This reduces in size after you have developed and adapted to a more uniform routine of breastfeeding.


Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist

Rainbow Children’s Hospital & BirthRigh, Banjara Hills.