Breastfeeding Journey: Myth Buster

Saturday, October 04, 2014
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Being a breastfeeding advocate, who’s primary goal is to help spread awareness on the importance of breastfeeding, I find it heartbreaking that a lot of mums were trapped on breastfeeding myths and incorrect notion. Most of those are the reasons why they were not able to breastfeed exclusively their baby. I have heard a lot of mums say…
Sayang, hindi ko pa kasi alam ito noon. Sana napabreastfeed ko din si panganay.
Even me! I was one of those who thinks that formula feeding the baby is the norm. Even my own mother was a victim of these breastfeeding myths that’s why she ends up formula feeding me when I turned 4months and formula feeding my brother, with cerebral palsy, until he’s 9yrs old!

So as a breastfeeding advocate and a blogger, I’ll use my superpower and help fellow mums out there. I’ll be your Myth Buster for today!

Myth No. 1: I HAVE NO MILK!

nomilktoday-breastfeeding-myth

The legendary, always top reason for not breastfeeding their baby – No Milk! Kaloka! Sabi nga nung isang Nanay sa Mum Group…
Mammal ka ba?
Funny? But it’s true!! Mammal ka ba?!! The main reason why you have breasts is because you have the capability to nourish your child. Hindi para may magandang cleavage while wearing your bodycon dress. Though having nice cleavage is a very good side effect of breastfeeding. :-P

Anyway, according to experts, only about 5% of the entire mum population can’t produce milk. Only 5%. And those 5% have health issues – PCOS, diabetes and mammary hypoplasia (insufficient gland tissue) to name a few. The rest, CAN!

Yes mummy, YOU HAVE MILK! *gasp*

Breastmilk production, like many things in this world, follow the rule of supply and demand. Make your baby latch on you so your body would know that it needs to produce milk. Ang galing no? That’s how perfectly made our body is. Sino ba kasi gumawa at nag design ng perfect bodies na to? How can HE ever go wrong?

So just trust your body mummies. Trust your body and your maker.


Myth No. 2: I Just Gave Birth, Why Can’t I See a Fountain of Milk?

breastfeeding-myth-overflowing-milk

There you go! That’s the reason why your milk is not yet overflowing. It’s because – You. Just. Gave. Birth.

Give your body some time to understand/process what it needs to do. Kakadede palang ni baby, kakasabi mo palang sa mga dede mo na magproduce ng gatas. Wag naman magmadali. Gusto agad-agad? May taxi naghihintay sa baba? :-P

When you give birth, your breasts produce colostrum – usually it’s a clear fluid or golden yellow. That colostrum is extremely important for the baby because it has a lot of antibodies. Remember, for 9 whole months your baby is well protected inside your womb. Walang dirty surroundings. So paglabas nila, they need all the protection they need to avoid getting sick. And you can get that protection from the colostrum. Again, a very clever idea of the One who created us.

So do not expect an overflowing milk right away. Or the white milk to come out right away. Let the baby get the very important colostrum by making her latch on you. Kahit mukhang wala, meron yan! Or kahit patak patak lang yan, SAPAT yan.


Myth No. 3: My Milk Is Not Enough

Oh darling, even Forever’s not enough (sabi nga ni Sarah G.). Joke lang!

How can you say that you don’t have enough milk? Let’s see this infographic I got from one of the mum groups…

tummy-size-from-newborn-breastfeeding-myth 
It shows your baby’s maximum stomach capacity. Ganyan lang ka-konti. Plus the baby can survive up to 24hrs after birth without milk. They still use the food/nutrients they got while inside your womb.

Medyo nalilito pa ba kayo sa newborn tummy size, here’s a better one…

newborn-tummy-size-comparison

Yep! Your newborn’s tummy is just as big or rather, as small as a cherry. So you still think your milk is not enough? Come on! With that tummy size? Of course no matter how konti the mik is or how konti you THOUGHT your milk is, most probably its more than enough for the baby.

One good proof that the baby is getting enough milk? Check your wet diapers and the dirty ones! As long as the baby poops and wiwis, you are good.


Myth No. 4: The Baby is a Light Sleeper and Wants to Latch the Entire Freakin’ Day

Of course you just gave birth. Your body is so sore. Your nipples are also sore. Your arms are aching. And the baby wants to breastfeed the entire freakin’ day!

The moment you put her down, she’ll wake up and cry. And there’s no way to make her stop but to breastfeed her. Nakakaloka yun.

Yes. That’s a mummy’s life on the first 3months of your baby.

breastfeeding-myth-cradle-hold

But if you give the baby formula, ang himbing ng tulog! Kahit mag cartwheel ka sa harap nya, tulog pa din. So mas okay ang formula diba? Kasi mukhang mas busog si baby? Mas makakapagpahinga ka.

NOT!

Here’s a secret I will share with you…
Formula milk are usually made of cow’s milk. Cows have 4 stomachs! Humans, only 1. You do the math.
Mabigat sa tyan ang formula milk because it’s made of cow’s milk. At mas mahimbing ang tulog ng mga baby pag nag formula because their bodies find it so difficult to digest the formula milk. So difficult that they have to sleep, to gain energy. How very sad.

It is also important that we mums know that the 1st 3 months of our baby’s life is also sometimes referred as the 4th trimester. Remember, our babies spent the first 9months of their lives inside our womb. Inside the warm, dark, much more silent womb. They were embraced by our womb, tightly. And then they were born. It was a happy day of course but for the babies, it means adjustment.

Yep! Mums, hindi lang kayo nag-adjust nung pinanganak nyo sila. Our babies undergo a major adjustment also. Kasi paglabas nila – it was bright, sometimes cold, sometimes hot, very noisy, and extremely big world. Nakakagulat.

And daling galawin ng mga kamay at paa nila. Sobrang dali na pati sila nagugulat. Nothing is familiar except for one thing -  their mum’s heartbeat that they hear while breastfeeding. Kaya nga siguro the breasts are placed near our hearts and when we cradle our babies, their ears are very close to our heart.

That one familiar sound mummy is the reason why they breastfeed almost 24/7. Not just because they are hungry. Or not getting enough milk. It’s because they want to be comforted.

So my advice is, carry your baby for as long as you can. While you still can. Or regret it when the time pass you by. Minsan lang yan eh. Maikling panahon lang. After that, they’d ask you to let them crawl or walk or run. And you’d miss the days when everything they need is just your hug. :)

Myth No. 5: Breastfeeding is Painful

You just gave birth. Your body is so sore. Your arms are aching. Add a sore and painful nipples and you’ll really call it quits. I know! Coz I almost did. It was painful. As I’ve said on this post, I was literally howling in pain. The ReigningTatay would embrace me and comfort me and I’d take mefenamic acid just to relieve the pain a bit.

But the pain is not forever. Once the nipples have toughen up for the job, usually after just a couple of days, the pain will eventually go away. If it won’t, then you have to check on the baby’s latch.

Breastfeeding-Correct-Latch-Myth

That’s how it should look. That’s what you call a Deep Latch. If you got that one perfectly, then you won’t have any problems at all. Usually, the baby’s latch are shallow, depending on your nipple size, so you have to adjust it by inserting your pinky finger on the side of your newborn’s mouth to unlatch and re-latch.

Pag perfect ang latch, walang masakit na nipples. :)

Myth No. 6: Breastfeeding Would Make Your Boobs Saggy

I know some of you would say…
how shallow!
But I won’t blame those who’d want to keep their breasts up and mighty after several children. I know I would! I don’t want saggy boobs of course. But breastfeeding is never the culprit!

breastfeeding-myth-sagging-boobs

Lola here got it right! It’s gravity baby! And age!

So whether you breastfeed or not, your boobs would sag eventually. So why not use it to nourish your child diba? Ganun din naman yun!

And I swear, Mila breastfed my sister until she’s three and her boobs looked okay until she’s around 45 and then it started to sag. So definitely, it’s not breastfeeding. It’s aging and gravity. And promise, my boobs are okay! Better actually because its bigger. Harhar!

Myth No. 7: Breastmilk vs Formula – Both Are Milk Anyway

Some people say formula milk is just the same as breastmilk. Both are milk intended for the baby. But here’s the thing – with the whole world going gaga over natural and organic, which do you think is better?

The natural human milk? Or the cow’s milk processed by humans? With chemicals and supplements and concentrates and preservatives.

Formula milk are supplements. Intended to be consumed by babies who doesn’t have any means of nourishment. Like orphans or the babies of those 5% women who really can’t produce milk and has no way of getting breastmilk. This is a good read on the dangers of formula - http://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/baby-formula#.VC7I02eSyPM.

Ang masaklap kasi ngayon, breastfeeding na ang taboo at parang first option lagi ng mga nanay at ng ibang mga health practitioners ang formula supplementation.  MALING MALI!

Every mother’s first choice should be breastfeeding. Dapat, alternative nalang ang formula supplementation. Nakakalungkot talaga.

Myth No. 8: Breastmilk vs Formula – Formula Wins!

But this one is so so so sad and crazy! Some people says formula is actually better than breastmilk! Naloloka ako sa…
Dapat bigyan mo na yang anak mo ng gatas sa lata, para tumaba. Walang sustansya yang gatas mo.
Hello?! Again, let’s all go back to the natural and organic fad happening right now. Ano ulit sabi nila? Go organic! Go natural! There is nothing better than natural or organic stuff. There you go! Sa sobrang better ng organic at natural, pati mga make up at facial wash – made  of all natural ingredients. Gumaganyan sila. So paanong naging mas healthy ang processed powdered milk?

Because of the looooooong list of nutrients and DHAs for brain development and vitamins for strong legs, etc. etc.?!! Those are just for marketing strategy! They probably really did put lots of vitamins and minerals and nutrients and DHA’s on that can but they could NEVER even come close to the natural infant food which is breastmilk. Masama pa neto, those chemicals means extra work for the liver and the kidney. Tsk! Tsk!

Iba ang pangangailangan ng tao. And only our body could produce the exact minerals and vitamins and DHA that our babies need. Walang makakagaya nun! Kahit na sabihin pa ng mga milk manufacturers na they are as good as breastmilk. Masakit nga dun, ang marketing strategy na ngayon is to make it sound like they are better. Haaaay!

Myth No. 9: A Fat Baby is a Healthy Baby

Dito ako inis na inis. Hahahahaha!

Here are some of the common posts on the mum groups:
Mums! Help! Paano po ba ko papayat? Eversince kasi nanganak ako, hindi na bumalik dati kong katawan. Payat naman ako dati. Ngayon ang taba taba ko na!
Mums! Help! Sabi ng MIL/pedia/SIL/Mother/kapitbahay na epal – ang payat daw ni baby. Dapat daw i-formula ko para tumaba. Nasa normal naman ang weight nya sa chart pero mas gusto ko sana na mas bumigat pa sya.
Honestly mummies? What is freakin’ wrong with you?! Lagi ko to sinasagot sa mga ganyan posts eh…
Hindi porket mataba, healthy. Bakit ganun? Papatabain nyo ng husto while baby and then pagda-dietin nyo pagtanda. Isa pa, kayo ba mummies gusto nyo mataba kayo? Diba mas madalas na sinasabing unhealthy ang matataba? Sabihin nyo sa mga epal tao na yan, you want a sexy and healthy baby.
Di ba?!!

My daughter is not fat. She’s healthy. She’s hitting milestones. She’s happy. She’s active. She’s very smart. And she’s not sakitin. That for me is a perfectly healthy baby! At 7 months, she’s just 7.1 kilos. But her muscles and bones are strong. Siksik. Maliksi.

fat-baby-breastfeeding-myth

Please mummies, do not aim for a fat baby. Oo cute sila while baby pa pero kawawa naman paglaki. Aim for a healthy, happy baby instead. And the best way to have that is to breastfeed them. :)

Again, I have nothing against mums who choose to formula feed. Masaklap lang, madalas lack of correct information ang dahilan kung bakit hindi nagpapasuso ang mga nanay na nakikilala ko. If only they were informed. They could have made an informed choice. But those mums who know all of this stuff but still opted to formula feed, okay lang sa akin. At the end of the day, all of us only wants the best for our babies.



** Images are grabbed from google images, I do not own them. If the image is yours and wants to be taken down, please let me know.

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