Breastfeeding isn’t just about milk, it is also about love,care and bonding. Apart from celebrating Friendship Day on August 7, we are also celebrating World Breastfeeding Week from August 1- 7. For every mother, breastfeeding in itself is a beautiful journey which comes with a mixed bag of emotions. Right from the conception, we all are very well aware about the benefits of breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
The importance of breastfeeding goes beyond the aspect of growth of the child. Breast milk contains antibodies which help the baby and protect the baby from cold, gastroenteritis or any other infections. It has fatty acids which majorly help in the baby’s brain development. It also helps in improving baby’s cognitive development. Colostrum – the first milk that the breast produces, provides immunity and protects the gut.
And dear mommies, here you have all the reasons to breastfeed:
A breastfeeding mom burns 500 calories as compared to the average of 200 burned when you hit the gym. This is the easiest way to lose your post pregnancy weight without emptying your pockets. Breastfeeding is free of cost, almost never runs out of supply and yes, it is available anywhere and everywhere. Above all, the bonding it creates lasts for a lifetime. There i documented proof that breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer. So feed, feed and breastfeed.
My breastfeeding story
My journey of breastfeeding was of one year and four months but I know the impact of it is going to last for a lifetime. It has created a beautiful bond not only between me and my little soul but also between me and my mother-in-law and my husband for the unconditional love and support I have received from them. I can’t thank my mom in law enough for those ladoos she used to make me eat, for she believed in all those old wives’ tips that they increased milk production.
The entire journey has been full of mixed emotions of anger, anxiety, joy and happiness. There have been embarrassing moments too when you are feeding and people keep looking at you as if you are the Eighth Wonder. I still remember those Ouch! moments when my little one bit me with all his strength, showing me the power of his newly formed teeth and yeah the power of my milk too.
On my breastfeeding journey, I have been showered with many advices (read: myths) almost from everyone, right from my next door neighbour to my mom’s far off cousin. Some of the wisdom imparted was helpful but much of it was actually not.
Here are a few myths (oops advices) that I heard, busted just for you.
MYTH #1 BREASTFEEDING IS NATURAL
Breastfeeding is natural and normal but that does not mean it comes easily. Every mother has a different story and different struggle. There are babies who find it difficult to latch and few mothers are not able to produce enough milk. But there are always lactation consultants who can help and guide you. Don’t compare yourself with others.
MYTH #2 COLOSTRUM SHOULD BE DISCARDED
In my grandma days, colostrum was considered to be stale but no, colostrum is neither stale nor harmful. In fact, colostrum is the first yellow coloured milk that the breast produces, which helps the baby, protects its gut and is very very beneficial for the little one.
MYTH #3 BREASTFEEDING WHILE LYING DOWN CAUSES EAR INFECTION
Myth, myth and a big myth! Yes mommies, you can feed your baby the way you are comfortable, the way your baby is comfortable, in no way can it cause ear infection.
MYTH #4 IF BABIES FEED A LOT, IT MEANS THEY ARE NOT GETTING ENOUGH MILK
Breast milk is easy to digest and also babies can’t have a lot of food at one go. So they feed every two to three hours. It has nothing to do with your milk supply, mothers.
MYTH #5 BREASTFEEDING IMMEDIATELY AFTER A SHOWER MAY MAKE THE CHILD CATCH A COLD
It surely doesn’t. I remember my breastfeeding days when my mum-in-law used to cover my ears with a scarf and didn’t let me shampoo my hair with a simple belief that baby will catch cold. It has no scientific evidence.
Very recently there was a hoopla when a magazine cover featured a mother breastfeeding an older kid. Surely breastfeeding older kids is uncommon but it is definitely not wrong. It’s purely a mother’s choice and the baby’s need. Also there is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding after the child’s third year.
Breastfeeding is a gift that a mother gifts to herself and her baby. So dear mothers, during this World Breastfeeding Week, let’s pledge to raise more awareness and debunk the myths surrounding this act. I know there are several pieces of advice you too have been given about breastfeeding. Feel free to debunk them right here in the comments section below.
Mansi says: I am a Delhi based personal blogger and a mother to a five year old. I love to express my thoughts through my writings. I express, share and write about relationships and parenting in modern times and everything in between. So far, I have blogged for various parenting sites and brands. I also blog at lyflikedatmansi.