Myths About Breastfeeding
Have you ever heard: “I don’t have enough breastmilk” or “I had a moment of anger”?
Let’s review some myths about breastfeeding, and the answers to some of the main questions moms wonder:
- My baby is not gaining weight. Maybe she is not eating enough.
When you breastfeed you can’t know exactly how much milk your baby is drinking. But if your baby wets 5-6 diapers a day, latches firmly to your breast, you can hear her swallowing, and the pediatrician says her weight is adequate, then you can be sure that her development is appropriate.
- I don’t have enough milk.
During the first days after birth, your body produces colostrum, which contains fat, proteins and antibodies that develop her immune system. Colostrum contains double quantity of calories than milk. This is all your baby needs. You must also consider that every mom is different and you can’t compare to other moms. It is not recommended to use a breast pump to check how much milk you are producing, since it is not the same as the quantity your baby gets when suckles.
- My milk is not good.
All women, unless there is a medical condition, have the same composition of breastmilk, even those moms who live in countries where they can’t eat a balanced diet. Breastmilk composition varies according to the stage in which your baby is. It changes even during the nursing session. However, reducing the frequency you breastfeed your baby will affect the amount of milk you produce.
- Anger makes my milk dry.
If you are nervous, your milk flow may take a little more time, but it doesn’t mean you are going to stop producing milk. Breastmilk DOESN’T dry due to a bad time, and its nutritional value doesn’t vary.
- If my breastmilk has a watery appearance, I must stop breastfeeding.
Sometimes breastmilk looks watery, and it is absolutely normal. At the beginning of the nursing session your milk has less fat, in order to calm the baby thirst. After a few minutes, your milk contains more fat and all the nutrients your baby needs.
- Certain foods make me produce more milk. I must avoid cold foods.
Although some cultures believe breastfeeding moms should not eat some foods such as chili, beans, chocolate, or cold foods, there is not evidence that they reduce milk production. Nevertheless, it is recommended to observe the reaction of your baby to some specific foods. Some babies are sensitive to garlic or cauliflower, among others. If you notice any change with your baby, after eating some of these foods, try to avoid them for a few days. On the other hand, it is said that oatmeal and nuts help increasing the milk production.
- My mom didn’t have too much milk. Maybe I won’t either.
The only factor affecting the amount of milk you produce, unless you have a medical problem, is how often you breastfeed your baby. The more you feed her, the more milk you will produce. Causes that affected your mom’s milk production were not necessarily the same you will experience. If you notice your milk production is decreasing, you may contact a lactation consultant who helps you to establish breastfeeding with your baby.