Myths & Realities about Breastfeeding (contd.)
- 11 Months ago
Myth #6: You have to have a good diet or your milk won't nourish the baby properly.
*Reality:* Surprisingly, new studies have shown this to be untrue. Even women who are getting poor nutrition can usually produce adequate quality milk. However, they may not be able to produce as much of milk as women who are eating well. Needless to say, it's best to eat right during pregnancy and while you're breastfeeding. Occasional lapses, however, are nothing to worry about.
Myth #7: Breastfed newborns need vitamin and mineral supplements.
*Reality:* Not true. No vitamin or mineral supplements should be given to breastfed babies until at least six months. New studies are currently being conducted as to whether or not such supplements should be given after six months. This is not to say that supplementation is not a good idea after a certain age. It is simply not yet clear what that age is. At least until your baby is 6 months old, you can be assured that your breast milk will provide for all of her nutritional needs.
Myth #8: You can't take any medication while you're breastfeeding.
*Reality:* While there are a few medications that should absolutely not be used during the breastfeeding portion of a woman's life, most can be taken safely. It is important that your doctor checks actual research rather than simply relying on the standard instructions that are issued with the prescription. It's also a good idea to ask your doctor about non-prescription drugs. Some of them are not appropriate for nursing or pregnant women.
Myth #9: After a year, breast milk loses all its nutritional value.
*Reality:* This belief is a total myth. Breast feeding is recommend breastfeeding for *at least* one year. While many people are now aware that breast milk is the perfect, complete source of nutrition for babies under 6 months of age, not everyone is aware that breast milk continues to provide perfect nutrition as long as the mother continues to breastfeed. Breast milk tailors itself to the needs of a child from birth until weaning. As you gradually add new foods to your child's diet, you can be assured that your child is getting excellent nutrition, even on those days when she may choose not to eat much solid food at all.
Myth #12: Breastfeeding will ruin your sex-life.
*Reality:* Some people fear that the intimacy that a mother maintains with her child through breastfeeding will displace her needs for intimacy with her partner. In fact, whether a woman chooses to breastfeed or not, she may find her libido considerably diminished for weeks or months following a birth. It is unrealistic and unfair to expect any new mother, who is recovering from a birth, who is either nursing or bottle-feeding around the clock, getting up at night to diaper, rock and sooth the baby, cooking, cleaning, etc. to have much interest in sex! Any tasks that her mate can assist her with will contribute to the deepening of their relationship. If a breastfeeding mother' partner is respectful of the importance of the breastfeeding relationship and able to assist with things such as diaper changes and nighttime parenting duties, the new mother's sexuality will gradually resurface.