By: Giulz Garcia
It’s safe to say that despite all the exhaustion and the challenges that come with breastfeeding, moms who breastfeed will agree that the breastfeeding years are one of the highlights of motherhood. The bonding moments and the benefits can make mothers love and enjoy the breastfeeding journey despite its fair share of struggles. But there are factors that can make them doubt the journey – such as a number of breastfeeding myths.
Nanays can totally relate. Our country seems to have a pamahiin for almost everything and the breastfeeding process isn’t spared. Moms hear all kinds of far-fetched breastfeeding advice even from well-meaning people. But, what really is the truth behind these breastfeeding myths?
Myth 1: “Wag kang magpadede if pagod ka o galing sa byahe. Maiinom ni baby ang pagod mo.”
Truth: One of the most common breastfeeding myths, you’ll always hear this whether you just came home from an exhausting day, or when you’re not feeling well. Truth is, stress won’t affect your baby’s meal. In fact, breastfeeding is one of the best ways to slow down after an exhausting day because it releases chemicals that help you relax.
Myth 2: “Make sure your baby feeds for more than ten minutes.”
Truth: No wonder why there are so many new moms who always panic whenever her baby doesn’t feed longer than ten minutes. Each baby’s feeding style is different. What you should do is to check for signs that the baby is already satisfied.
Myth 3: Small cup equals small supply.
Truth: The size of your breast won’t determine your supply – your commitment to breastfeeding will. Having a larger breast size won’t provide you enough milk if you are not consistent with breastfeeding.
Myth 4: “Wag itaas ang kamay pag natutulog. Hihina ang supply.”
Truth: There is no scientific basis for this myth. However, stressing out on sleeping positions just so you can avoid losing your milk can cause emotional stress that may affect your supply.
Myth 5: “A baby who always nurses is not getting enough. Give her formula.”
Truth: Breastfeeding is not all about “feeding.” Remember that drinking from the breast is also a source of comfort for babies. If your baby stays longer in the breast, they could just be looking for a sense of comfort and security.
Myth 6: “The right breast is for rice, the left breast is for water.”
Truth: False. You can offer either breast during feeding because each breast produces the same healthy milk.
Myth 7: Breastfeeding will make baby clingy and dependent.
Truth: There is no scientific basis to this. However, breastfeeding helps improves the bond between mommy and baby. When you offer your breast, your baby will know you’re always there for comfort.
Myth 8: Breastmilk is no longer healthy after two years.
Truth: The nutritional components of breastmilk change to keep up with the growing baby. Even after two years, your milk still contains important antibodies that will help your kid battle sicknesses.
Myth 9: “Bawal ang rebond and pedicure sa nagpapadede.”
Truth: Don’t deny yourself a much-needed postpartum makeover. Breastfeeding moms can have hair treatments.
Myth 10: “Kulang ang nutrients ng dede lang. Kailangan talaga mag formula.”
Truth: The best milk for babies is the one from the breast. There are numerous studies showing the health benefits of breastfeeding. From 0 to 6 months, your milk alone is enough for his growth and development. As you introduce solids, you can increase solid intake to complement breastmilk.
While people who advise these might have good intentions, the sad truth is that these can also discourage moms from breastfeeding. So learning the truth behind these common breastfeeding myths can help moms continue and encourage them to never give up.
Giulz Garcia is a mother to a 14-month old cookie monster. She loves to sing, write, and give kisses to boo-boos. She considers motherhood her favorite roller coaster ride.