Book excerpt: Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy by Dr Gita Arjun
On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1 to 7 August), we bring you 10 Old Wives’ Tales that are simply not true.books Updated: Aug 02, 2017 19:02 IST
1. Don’t eat dal, channa, rajma, or potatoes because it will give the baby gas. Not true! These substances don’t even enter breast milk and so have no effect on the baby.
2. Avoid mangoes—it will cause the baby to have jaundice. Not true!
3. Don’t drink too much water because it will dilute the milk. Not true! You need to drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated and to help in milk production.
4. If your hair is wet when you feed the baby he will catch a cold. Not true!
5. You should not eat while you feed the baby as it will cause indigestion in the baby. Not true!
6. If your baby doesn’t feed from both breasts for a long duration she needs supplements. Not true!
7. If your breasts aren’t engorged and spurting milk you aren’t producing enough milk. Not true! As long as your baby is passing urine and motion enough number of times and is showing a steady increase in weight, you have enough milk.
8. Don’t drink coffee or tea when you feed the baby as it dries up your supply. Not true!
9. It is important to give your baby water because she will be thirsty otherwise. Not true! All the water the baby requires is obtained from her milk intake.
10. Keep alternating breasts every 10 minutes. Not true! Feed on a breast till the baby stops sucking and your breast feels soft. The baby needs to suck for at least 15–20 minutes on each breast to get the fat-filled hind milk.
Excerpted with permission from Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy by Dr. Gita Arjun, Westland, July 2017
Dr Gita Arjun is an eminent obstetrician and gynaecologist in Chennai, with a career spanning 32 years. A staunch advocate for women’s health, she has focused on promoting women’s awareness of health and wellness. Starting in 1981, she was one of the first obstetricians in India to encourage husbands-to-be in the labour room.