Here are our top ten myths in Kosovo about Breastfeeding:
1. Breastfeeding makes your boobs droopy and smaller. MYTH!
It's pregnancy, rather than breastfeeding, that may cause your breasts to change in size and shape after having a baby. The best thing to prevent drooping is to use a well-fitted bra during and after pregnancy.
2. You have to stop breastfeeding if you get pregnant. MYTH!
There is no medical reason to stop breastfeeding when you are pregnant. The exception is high-risk pregnancies since breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which can cause contractions, but you would also have been told to not have sex and be on bed-rest. Many women continue to breastfeed the older child during pregnancy and after birth. Your nipples may be more sensitive and your milk supply might drop due to hormonal changes.
3. You should wash your nipples before breastfeeding. MYTH!
Breastmilk has natural anti-bacterial properties so is very unlike formula feeding where you have to sterilize everything. There is no need to clean your nipples before feeding as this can wash away protective oils.
4. Many women do not produce enough milk. MYTH!
The vast majority produce more than enough milk. Often when babies are not gaining enough weight it is because of a poor latch that the baby does not get the milk that the mother has.
5. There is no (not enough) milk during the first few days after birth. MYTH!
It might seem like that but baby only needs a small amount because the milk in those first days, called colostrum, is especially healthy and important. But the baby must be latched on well to get the colostrum and if not he will feed for hours and still be hungry.
6. There is no way to know how much breastmilk the baby is getting. MYTH!
There are very clear ways to know if the baby is getting enough: 1) Baby is drinking at the breast using the “open mouth wide—pause—close mouth” type of suck. 2) Diaper output. 3) Baby seems relaxed and satisfied after a feed. 4) Baby regains birth weight within two weeks.
7. If the baby is off the breast for a few days (weeks), the mother should not restart breastfeeding because the milk sours. MYTH!
The milk is as good as it ever was.
8. It is easier to bottle feed than to breastfeed. MYTH!
With bottle-feeding there is the cost of buying bottles and formula, hassle of cleaning and sterilizing and time to warm the milk. However, Breastfeeding can be made difficult if you don’t get the help you need to get started properly. But even if breastfeeding is more difficult at first, it usually becomes easier later.
9. A breastfeeding baby needs extra water in hot weather. MYTH!
Breastmilk contains all the hydration a baby needs.
10. If mother is sick she should stop breastfeeding. MYTH!
With very, very few exceptions, the mother’s continuing to breastfeed will actually protect the baby. By the time the mother has symptoms she has already given the baby the infection. The baby's best protection against getting the infection is for the mother to continue breastfeeding. If the baby does get sick, he will be less sick if the mother continues breastfeeding.