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8 Myths and Facts about breastfeeding

Baby Care By Gardy Chacha
Photo; Courtesy

1. A mother must wean her breastfeeding baby as soon as she falls pregnant – MYTH

ALSO READ: Men have a critical role to play in breastfeeding during COVID-19 pandemic

2. Breastfeeding during pregnancy can trigger a miscarriage – MYTH

Oxytocin is a hormone released during breastfeeding that causes uterine contractions, usually too mild to notice.

3. Most mothers experience a drop in milk supply during pregnancy – FACT

70 per cent of mothers notice a significant drop in supply during pregnancy. Still, a minority of mothers continue to produce an abundance of milk throughout pregnancy.

4. Many children will wean themselves off the breast when the taste of the milk changes later during pregnancy – MYTH

In one study of breastfeeding mothers by La Leche League, an international organization that distributes information on breastfeeding, 26 per cent of children self-weaned, 28 per cent of the mothers led weaning, and the other 46 per cent went on to tandem nurse.

5. You must wean your older child off the breast as soon as you give birth – MYTH

ALSO READ: Mac Otani’s heartbreaking breastfeeding challenge with ailing wife

6. The newborn always needs to breastfeed first – MYTH

Your newborn may need "first dibs" on colostrum since it is in limited supply in the first day or two but your body will adjust to your children's demand.

7. Tandem nursing mothers can make a double supply of milk—just like mothers nursing twins. - FACT

8. Tandem nursing is rare – MYTH

In one study of 179 mothers who had breastfed at least one child for at least six months, 61 per cent had breastfed during pregnancy, and 35 per cent had tandem nursed.

Source: Hilary Flower, author of Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond, published by La Leche League International in July 2003

ALSO READ: Breastfeeding 101: What is cluster feeding?

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