10 myths about breastfeeding you shouldn't believe

Myths about breastfeeding have always existed. Fortunately, science has been in charge of clarifying them.

Last update: September 14, 2021

A whole new world unfolds in the lives of new mothers. Aware of this, we want to share with you the myths about breastfeeding that you should not believe and the recommendations that specialists indicate.

Currently, the importance of exclusively breastfeeding babies is clear until they are at least 6 months old. And it should start in the first hour of life, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This guarantees children all the nutrients they require and strengthens their immune systems.

Myths about breastfeeding

The myths that are woven about breastfeeding and that you should not believe if you want to feed your children in a healthy way, have their origin in ignorance and unfounded fears culturally for generations. Other times, economic interests seek to favor artificial feeding over natural ones.

These false beliefs do not seem to contemplate scientific studies, which over the years have provided answers to these concerns. Let's see, then, what are the 10 most common myths, with which you will surely come across at some point during motherhood.

1. It will hurt a lot while you breastfeed

Pain is not synonymous with breastfeeding; rather it is a sign that there is something to attend to. At first, it may be normal that it hurts a little if the breasts are very full, because you were not able to attach the baby in the first hours. But once you start breastfeeding continuously, it shouldn't hurt.

You should check if it is not a bad grip of the baby on the nipple and that causes the discomfort. Sometimes the pain is warning of an infection or other problem in the breast that it is good to consult with the family doctor.

2. There are some foods allowed and others restricted while breastfeeding

All foods are allowed for the mother, who should worry about having a balanced diet during breastfeeding. This means that although you can eat everything, the ideal is that the servings of fruits, vegetables and proteins are guaranteed.

The variety of foods translates into a variety of flavors for the baby, which in turn prepare him for the next phase: complementary feeding. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to go to the beginning with a nutritionist who does some planning.

The process of breastfeeding should not create excruciating pain. In that case, you have to suspect a problem.

3. If you have large breasts you will have a lot of milk

Or vice versa, if you have small breasts you will have almost no milk. In both cases it is false. The size of the breast does not determine how much milk the mother will produce. Other factors that have nothing to do with volume do influence, such as the stimulation of the breasts with the suction of the newborn.

4. Breastfeeding will make your breasts sag or misshapen.

Changes in the breasts start from pregnancy. In addition to weight gain, the size of the breasts changes, which does not mean that they become deformed during pregnancy or lactation.

And with regard to the fall or descent, it is false that it happens due to the suction of the baby. It occurs as a natural evolutionary process, associated with age, sudden changes in weight or genetics. Breastfeeding is not associated with breast deformity.

5. You have to accustom the baby to a pre-established time to eat

Breastfeeding on demand and without restrictions is the suggestion made by pediatricians. Which removes this myth of the pre-established schedule. According to this method, babies have the ability to self-regulate and little by little you will learn if their crying is due to a hunger demand.

At first you will want to breastfeed every 2 hours or less. Then it will be spacing. Do not get carried away by advice that tells you to let him cry if he has not arrived by 3 hours. If the baby cries, hold him and breastfeed him; If it is not hunger, with your affection you will also help it to develop healthy and mature in harmony.

6. The baby has to take the same time on each breast

There is no set time to empty the breasts. This is another one of the myths about breastfeeding that you should not believe. When you breastfeed, you know to alternate between feeling the breast soft. It does not have a stipulated and precise clock time.

Sometimes it will do it faster than others. In any case, when you finish, you should try to get your gases out before starting with the other one. If he falls asleep in the meantime, don't wake him up.

7. The breast pump will dry out your breasts

It is false that the breast pump will dry your breasts. Yes indeed, not a substitute for the baby's suction strength. However, the breast pump can be your ally in some key moments, when you cannot breastfeed and your breasts are full.

Also when you start work and want to continue exclusive breastfeeding. You can remove the milk and leave it stored in the refrigerator for your caregiver to feed.

Or for you to alternate the morning feedings with your partner, who can give your baby your milk in a bottle. In the market you will find a variety of products that adapt to all needs.

8. The milk is watery and you are no longer feeding the baby.

Breast milk has different densities and types. The first one may be more liquid, while the one that comes out at the end of the breast emptying tends to be thicker due to fat.

The essential thing is to know that in all its presentations you offer the baby, at any age, the nutrients it needs. Rest assured that your milk is the best option for your child.

9. If you get pregnant and are breastfeeding your first child, you should stop breastfeeding

If you got pregnant and you don't want to stop breastfeeding your first child, no problem. It is false that if you do, you will lose your pregnancy or you will have a preterm labor. There is no evidence to support that argument.

On the contrary, what does exist is enough literature on the benefits of tandem breastfeeding, which is what it is called. So if you think you have the energy and the will to breastfeed two at a time, don't be inhibited by myths about breastfeeding that you should not believe.

10. You cannot breastfeed two children of different ages simultaneously

This is false. It happens the other way around and that's how the experts expose it. Tandem breastfeeding is associated with greater weight gain in the newborn, since the first-born has constantly stimulated milk production in the mother.

Breastfeeding two children is possible the same time. It is false to think that one will run out of milk.

Facts not to believe the myths about breastfeeding

The best food will always be breast milk And no myth can be powerful enough for you to give up if you want to breastfeed and guarantee a healthy future for your child. Read these data provided by the World Health Organization, in the book "Infant and young child feeding", published in 2010:

“In the long term, artificially fed children have a higher risk of suffering from diseases that have an immune basis, such as asthma and other atopic conditions; Diabetes type 1; Celiac Disease; ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Artificial feeding has also been associated with an increased risk of developing leukemia during childhood ”.

The research also provides important recommendations based on scientific studies that will surely be of great use to you. If as a mother you are determined to give exclusive breastfeeding, you are choosing not only the healthiest path, but the most loving one for you and your baby.