The Myths Sold About Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.
When it calls for the discussions on pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weaning; there are lots of myths and misinformation. These myths are mostly propagated by mothers and passed down from one generation to another.
Photo by Chayene Rafaela via Unsplash (for illustration purposes).
New mothers or first-time moms always fall victim to these old-time unfounded teachings and lies. They are confused regarding the choice to make, whether to follow the instructions of their mothers, friends, relatives, or what the doctors have said.
In pregnancy, a lot of old-time false teachings have been given a prominent position in the women’s circle. These big fat lies are sold in the form of myths and mothers are buying them.
There are a lot of them. But we are going to dwell on the prominent ones among them. They are:
They Tell You to Stop Breastfeeding Your Baby no matter the baby’s age if you become pregnant
This lie is the chief of them all.
There is a belief that if a nursing mother conceives and continues breastfeeding, the child will fall sick. It is believed that the infant will become sick because the child is feeding on the unborn fetus. Put it plainly in their language; “the child sucks the blood and fluid of the fetus in the form of breast milk”.
It is said that the child is no longer ingesting breast milk but the unborn sibling’s blood. The nursing mother is encouraged to wean the child immediately no matter the age.
This is a fallacy!
This is a myth!
And this is a big fat lie!
I will share my experience here.
‘Six months after I had my first son, I conceived again. I received all manner of counsel from friends and relations which included; not sleeping with the baby in the same bed at night and to discontinue breastfeeding. But I did not give in.
I visited my Ob/Gyn. He is not a toddler in the field. He is a professor in the matter of conception and delivery. His counsel was; “your baby is very tender. Do not wean him at this stage. If you do, he will fall ill. Continue to breastfeed him even as you are pregnant. You can even breastfeed him until you give birth and you can continue breastfeeding two of them if you wish.”
A Mom breastfeeding her newborn and the older baby (Image used for illustration purposes)
I went home and did as my Obt had advised. I must confess that breastfeeding while pregnant is not an easy task. I was advised to take my rest, take routine drugs, and feed well.
Amazingly, I didn’t experience ‘morning sickness’ as usual because my body thought it was only breastfeeding (subject matter for another discussion). Six months into the pregnancy, I weaned my son. Then he had clocked one year. It was not an easy task as my doc had said but the result was desirable. My baby looked chubby and healthy’.
Breastfeeding while pregnant does not make a child fall sick. What makes a child sick is the lack of proper care and feeding. Weaning a child should be a planned and gradual thing. Before then, the child has adapted to any other breastfeeding replacement. There has never been any medical proof that the breast milk of a pregnant mom contains some amount of secretion from the fetus.
Dispel this myth! Stop selling it and stop buying.
They say; Don’t sleep with your baby while pregnant, it Causes him or her Fever
(Image used for illustration purposes)
This is another myth sold to pregnant Moms. It is another big brother, closely related to the first myth.
Just as I was advised to discontinue breastfeeding; I was also told not to share the same bed with my little baby. They said it is to avoid sibling rivalry. This is to say that they will become jealous of each other and one will think evil against another.
They also teach that the hotness of the body associated with pregnancy can be transferred to the little baby when both sleep together and this will cause the child to have a fever.
False! False! False!
There is no such thing as a physical or spiritual battle between your little baby and the unborn one. You are what you believe! There is nothing like the transfer of fever.
Mild raised body temperature during pregnancy especially in the first few months is normal. Moreover, the hotness of the body is not contagious hence, it cannot be transferred to another person.
Use Safety on your Stomach to close up and Safeguard the Pregnancy
When next you see a pregnant woman, take a closer look at her belly. You will notice a safety pin attached to the cloth on her belly.
The people who sold this myth told them that the safety pin closes up pregnancy and prevents witchcraft attack against their baby and also prevent miscarriage.
It is a big fat lie!
But wait! Is there any relationship between a safety pin and pregnancy?
There is none. But I found out something. Someone started using a safety pin during pregnancy and every other woman copied it.
The story of safety pin a pregnancy is closely related to the story of saltwater birth and Ebola. A woman who was having regular miscarriage visited a native doctor.
The native doctor made charms for her and gave her a safety pin to peg on her cloth. She was told to use it and go everywhere.
The woman carried her pregnancy to full term and delivered. She began to tell her fellow women how safety pin had helped to safeguard her pregnancy.
This was how the lie started selling and pregnant Moms began to buy. But she didn’t include that the native doctor gave her the pin.
In pregnancy, there are myths that are sold to the women, especially the first time Moms. Unfortunately, these myths have been transferred from one generation and the first time moms always fall prey to these unfounded beliefs. These have done so much harm to many, especially the unschooled and the new mothers.
Now that we have learned about some of them here, it is time to dispel these lies. Do not practice them and do not encourage their practices.
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