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7 common myths about prelacteal feeds and lactation busted!

Are prelacteal foods like honey and saunf water safe for infants? Read to know what our expert has to say.

New moms are clueless about prelacteal feeds and breastfeeding and often go by what their mums and grandmums have to say. There are a few common myths that most of us blindly follow. Our expert Ms Victoria Kumar Soraine, Lactation Consultant, Education Manager,Medela India tells us more.

Myth 1: Honey, saunf water and some other foods are best prelacteal feeds.

Honey and saunf water are commonly used as prelacteal feeds. However, it is not right as there is a higher risk of contamination of prelacteal feeds by bacteria, virus or fungus, as microbes are present everywhere in the environment. Moreover, giving prelacteal feeds can expose the baby to various infections and diseases. Hence, it is best to avoid prelacteal feeds and instead you should breastfeed the infant. Here s more on the importance of breastfeeding.

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Myth 2: Colostrum is stale milk and hence should be avoided.

Colostrum is the milk produced by the mother during the first two three days after delivery. Unlike the popular myth that colostrum is not good for the infant and is stale milk, you should know that it is actually loaded with numerous nutrients and immune-boosting compounds. It has around 415 types of proteins and 134 types of probiotics which help in the development of the gut. Colostrum acts as a protective layer of the stomach and prevents the entry of microbes and harmful compounds into the bloodstream. Hence, colostrum should be the first feed for a newborn and not prelacteal feeds.

Myth 3: Baby needs more milk than what the mother produces

Whenever a baby cries, a mother feels that the kid is hungry and is not full. However, this is not the case as it can be due to any pain associated with passing urine, potty or stomach. Do not relate cry with hunger every time. Also, bear one thing in the mind that the capacity of a newborn baby is approximately 5 7 ml (which is about the size of a marble). A mother will produce enough milk to satiate an infant.

Myth 4: Breastfeeding will make me fatter and de-shape the breasts

Well, what most women are not aware of is the fact that a woman can burn around 500 calories more when breastfeeding. And as far as de-shaping of the breasts is concerned, there are numerous hormonal changes and structural changes that occur in the breast during pregnancy. Your breast size has increased over nine months, so give time of few months for the breast size to get into shape. It is made up of muscle, fat and tissues, which will take some time to get back to normal state.

Myth 5: Small breasts do not produce good amount of milk

It is a popular belief that big breasts produce a good amount of milk, and small breasts fail to do so. But this is not true as breast size is not important as far as breastfeeding is concerned. Hormones that are released by the brain triggers breast milk production. Breast milk is not stored, but when the baby sucks, the brain is triggered, which releases hormones and produces milk. Also, read about things you should NEVER do while breastfeeding.

Myth 6: Fullness of breast means the baby is not satiated

Most mums feel that their breasts are full even after breastfeeding and hence think that baby hasn t fed well. Some mums also feel that the milk is not flowing properly from the breast. However, this is not a case as kids will empty only 67% of breast milk and not 100% after breastfeeding. There is no need to worry as the babies will feed only the required amount or till they are full.

Myth 7: Avoid certain fruits and vegetables while breastfeeding

You can eat everything and anything if you are breastfeeding as it will only help the baby in the future. Most mothers complain that the baby doesn t want to eat a particular fruit or vegetable as they start weaning but are not aware that breastfeeding exposes the baby to different tastes and smell. For example, if a mother eats an apple, the baby gets to smell and taste apple in the breast milk. However, if the mother is finicky, then the baby will develop the same attitude. Also, if the mother is eating everything but is not breastfeeding, then the baby is not exposed to different tastes and smells, and there are high chances of the kid turning into a fussy eater. Wondering if is it possible to breastfeed a baby right after C-section? Read this!

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