We all know that ‘breast is best’, but this doesn’t stop there being a horde of myths in circulation about breastfeeding.
Here are five breastfeeding myths, the most common misconceptions about breastfeeding a baby.
Redheads, blondes and fair-haired women have more sensitive nipples
Sore nipples are caused by a baby not latching on to a mother’s nipples properly and there is no evidence to back up the claim that fair-haired women or redheads have more sensitive nipples than darker-haired women.
Breastfeeding women need to drink milk to make milk
There is absolutely no truth in the claim that women who are breastfeeding their babies need to drink milk themselves to supply milk for their baby. Women who are breastfeeding need to have a healthy, well-balanced diet, which includes some calcium, to make sure their body is receiving all the vitamins, minerals and extra calories it requires whilst she is literally ‘feeding two’.
You need to be calm and relaxed to breastfeed
The saying “you need to be relaxed to breastfeed because stress makes your milk dry up,” is a common piece of advice often given to new mums which happens to be completely untrue.
Your milk will come through whether you are stressed or not. In fact breastfeeding can actually help you feel calmer and relaxed due to the hormones released as the baby suckles.
You will feel less tired if you bottle feed your baby
Having a new born baby to look after is extremely tiring, whether you are breastfeeding or formula feeding. Mums can often be told that they will feel less tired or ‘drained’ if they are bottle feeding. Formula feeding requires a lot of washing and sterilizing bottles and equipment and in that sense is more time-consuming than simply breastfeeding. Also when a mother breastfeeds her baby at night, her body releases hormones that help her fall back to sleep more easily, compared to having to get up and prepare a bottle.
A breastfed baby needs extra water in hot weather
Breastfed babies acquire all the nutrients they need and do not require any additional supplements, including water, even in hot weather.