Breastfeeding is plagued by myths. Most of them are absurd. If you stop to reflect, you will see that they don’t make any sense, so today, we will debunk 10 of them.
1. You cannot drink water while you are breastfeeding.
This myth says that if you drink water while you are breastfeeding, the milk will become watery or you will produce too much milk. There isn’t any reasoning behind this statement. As we have said before, a breastfeeding mother should drink water when she is thirsty, and in order to produce more milk, a mother should breastfeed her baby more frequently. Mothers who are breastfeeding can eat and drink without worries.
2. You cannot drink fizzy drinks because the bubbles pass on to the milk.
Carbonated drinks have a well deserved bad reputation because of the high content of sugar they contain, but the gas that they contain cannot reach the milk or the baby. For this to happen, the gas would have to be in the mother’s blood. If this were to happen, it would produce an embolism and cause death. So, if you want to drink carbonated drinks, you can. However you should know that they are not good for your health, breastfeeding or not.
3. The baby’s eye color is not defined until she weans from breastfeeding
This is another myth that doesn’t make sense. A baby’s eye color is determined by genes, just as all other physical characteristics. Breastmilk has no power to change the eye color of anyone.
4. There will be a moment when the milk changes into water.
Wow, what a miracle! Your milk won’t be milk anymore, it changes into water!
It is true that the majority of breastmilk is water, but it never stops nourishing. The milk does change and adapt itself to the age of your baby, but it will never stop nourishing and protecting.
5. You can’t swear or say bad words while breastfeeding. Your milk will spoil.
Cursing in front of your children is not a good idea. They copy everything you do, and we should be a role model for them. However, it is extreme to believe that milk will spoil or get sour when you swear. If you say a bad word or get angry, it will not affect your breastmilk or your baby.
6. You cannot eat acidic foods because they spoil the milk.
Foods that contain Vitamin C are acidic for those who eat them. If you mix lemon juice in a glass of milk, the milk will spoil and form lumps. However, if a mother eats an orange or has some lime juice, her milk will not spoil.
7. If you go outside without dressing warm enough you will not make enough milk
A mother’s breastmilk only freezes if the mother freezes to death. Cold weather is not enough to spoil the milk or keep the mother from producing more milk. The worst thing that can happen if you breastfeed when it is cold outside is that you catch a cold.
8. If a baby blows or burps while breastfeeding, it can stop the breastmilk from flowing.
Any blockages of breastmilk come from not emptying out the milk glands properly, not because the baby has burped. It is physically impossible for air to travel from the outside to the inside of the breast.
9. Don’t wake the baby! Sleeping is nourishing.
If sleeping were nourishing, nobody would be missing out on all the nutrients we need. Babies who are born early, premature babies, and newborn babies who are a bit too easygoing, tend to sleep a lot. Babies who sleep a lot and eat little do not gain weight. Sleep is not nourishing. In fact sleeping too much is one of the top warning signs of a baby under 15 days old.
10. If you sunbathe topless, your milk will spoil.
Yes we have heard this one before. Breastmilk cannot spoil in the sun. It is perfectly fine to sunbathe however dressed you want to. What you can’t do is leave bottles and formula out in the sun because of the risk of bacterial contamination. However, breastmilk inside your breasts is safe.
What about you? What other myths have you heard about breastfeeding?