After a woman gives birth she is posed with one of the biggest decisions of her life – whether or not to breast-feed. There are many myths associated with breastfeeding that detract many new mothers from doing so. However, according to modern-day medicine most of those theories are, in fact, only myths. Here are some of the most common concerns to consider in this decision:
- Breasts will lose their shape and size:
The largest impact to a woman’s breasts is their enlargement during pregnancy. While some of this growth is attributed to hormones, the bulk of this increased size comes from the mammary glands kicking in and producing milk. Once the lactation process is complete, it is natural for the breasts to readjust to a more normal size, regardless of breast-feeding or not. This is called postpartum breast involution. On a side note, breastfeeding can actually help breast health. Studies have shown that women who choose to breastfeed their children have less of a chance of developing breast cancer.
- The father can’t bond with the baby:
While feeding has a large impact on the boding process with a child it is certainly not the only method. Both parents can participate in bathing, holding and playing the child. These activities also have large impacts on bonding and contribute to the child’s development. A mother should encourage the father to participate in as many activities to help alleviate this concern.
- Diet must be dramatically altered to breastfeed
Just as she would during pregnancy, a new mother would want to continue to make smart decisions about her diet. Studies show that the quality of a mother’s diet has little impact on her milk. Nature pulls the nutrients from the mother’s body to provide sustenance that a baby needs. This even occurs in times of famine. A poor diet will affect the mother more than the infant. Furthermore, if a child does display sensitivity during or after feeding, it could be due to a foreign protein. If this problem does arise, women can contact their doctor or a nursing specialist to help pinpoint the issue.
- The child will grow up to be clingy
A most notable fact to remember is that human babies are mammals. Like other mammals, they are born primed to drink their mother’s milk and women have the “equipment” to administer the food. Babies are born clingy. Other activities, such as playing, will help promote independence and social skills.
Whether or not to breastfeed is always a matter of choice. But, mothers should not let myths dictate that decision.