Breastfeeding Week 2023: 7 Myths and Facts New Mothers Should Know About

Pregnancy to welcome the baby in the world and the journey thereafter, is nothing short of a roller coaster ride. While there is so much a woman, a mother experiences in her motherhood, however, essen

Pregnancy to welcome the baby in the world and the journey thereafter, is nothing short of a roller coaster ride. While there is so much a woman, a mother experiences in her motherhood, however, essential maternity privileges are still not widely available. According to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), Just 20% of countries require employers to provide employees with paid breaks and facilities for breastfeeding or expressing milk.

In order to spread more awareness about breastfeeding, every year August 1 to August 7 is celebrated as breastfeeding week. New mothers, new parents have several doubts about parenting, because there is no rule to it. There are several myths surrounding breastfeeding as well. Do nipples get sore? Is breastfeeding easy? Here are some of these myths that you should stop believing right away! The widely prevalent myths surrounding it are an important contributor to the confusion that families face while breastfeeding.


Myth 1: Breastfeeding is easy and natural.

Fact: Breastfeeding like walking is a learned act. While it is natural, it doesn’t always come easily for every mother and baby. It can take time and practice for both to establish a comfortable feeding routine.

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Myth 2: Its not possible to feed on day 1 after a C Section.

Fact: It is possible to feed the moment baby is born, irrespective of the type of birth. All you need is a skilled lactation support person who can help baby latch on to the breast and who can also teach the husband / other family member how to do it. Most of the medications used during csec are also compatible with breastfeeding.

Myth 3: A mother needs to clean her nipples before breastfeeding.
The nipple area has natural protective oils to keep it germ free. When we try to clean it, there is more chance of introducing germs.

Myth 4 There is no milk on day 1

Milk production starts around 16th -20 th week of pregnancy.
Breasts feel soft on day 1 because there is colostrum(early sticky thick milk) which is needed in small amounts by the baby.
One cannot check the amount of milk in breasts by squeezing them .

Myth 5: Some amount of pain is normal while Breastfeeding .

Fact: Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful. While some discomfort may occur during the initial days as you and your baby adjust, ongoing pain could indicate an improper latch or other issues related to the infant and should be addressed with a skilled and experienced professional.

Myth 6: Breast pumps are harmful and should not be used.

Fact: Breast pumps if used correctly are very helpful in certain situations. If due to any reason a baby is not feeding or feeding well from the mother (ex separation, prematurity, oral restrictions, joining back work etc), mother can use a breast pump to regularly extract milk and provide for her baby.

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Myth 7: Blocked ducts are due to thickened milk blocking the milk ducts.

Facts: Ducts get blocked because of injury and swelling(inflammation) inside the ducts, which in turn is caused by suboptimal latching. So the best way to manage them is working on the latch and measures to decrease the inflammation (as opposed to the older recommendations of trying to vigorously drain the breast).

Published Date: August 4, 2023 10:02 AM IST

Updated Date: August 4, 2023 10:07 AM IST




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