Motherhood is a continuous learning process while being one of the greatest experiences for a female in her lifetime. So, asking for help from others is normal and for this, one often approaches elders. As your child grows, you also have to cope up with the changes and becoming a mother means that from now onwards, you have to think two-fold, one for yourself and second for your baby.
Once you have a baby, you will be flooded with pieces of advice from all the directions and most of the people credulously believe in them, without verifying the facts, after all, it seems almost questioning their concern.
Here, I’m gonna share a few such myths and their busters experienced and established through extensive research and experimentation.
MYTH 1: Whatever the mother eats, comes out to enrich the breast milk.
Truth: You don’t need to maintain a perfect diet in order to provide quality milk to your baby. Research tells us that the quality of mother’s diet has a very little influence on her milk. Mother’s milk is designed to provide nutrition and to protect the baby against various infections/diseases by providing the immunity boosters.
Well, a poor diet is more likely to affect a mother directly rather than the baby. So mothers! don’t fret, just eat whatever you like to; but, why would you eat unhealthy anyway? Doesn’t your baby need a strong and an able mother to take care of it in a better way?
MYTH 2: Breastmilk can treat ear infections.
Truth: Breastmilk is the best source of nourishment for your baby. However, putting breast-milk in baby’s ear is not at all a good idea to treat an ear infection.
Breastmilk does have some good antibodies but it also has certain sugar content in it onto which bacteria loves to grow, which implies that putting breastmilk can lead to severe bacterial infections. Rather, it’s good to consult your paediatrician.
MYTH 3: Shaving baby’s head for thicker hair growth.
Truth: Shaving a baby’s head cannot lead to thicker hair. The reason being that hair grows from follicles that are beneath the scalp’s surface.
When the head is shaved, outside hair is affected and it doesn’t affect the hair that is developing inside. Shaving is not good at all, if you want thicker hair, rather give a diet rich in iron, folate and vitamin C.
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MYTH 4: Teething causes fever.
Truth: Teething often causes fussiness in babies but a high fever is not related to teething. A baby during teething experiences increased drooling and a desire to put every thing that comes in its way to tackle the irritation it experience, often causing infections- viral or bacterial, the real cause of fever.
MYTH 5: Bundle up your baby to protect from winters.
Truth: As a rule of thumb, no matter what the season is, your baby will be most comfortable by wearing just one layer more than yours. Over-layering your baby can make it uncomfortable and fussy. To ensure, you can check the back of baby’s neck, if it’s warm and dry, the baby is perfectly dressed.
MYTH 6: Letting your baby cry is good for lungs.
Truth: Crying is the only way by which a baby can express itself for many months till it learns to speak, so letting your baby cry is not a good parenting tip.
Rather, comforting the baby and looking for the reason behind crying should be preferred. Crying can never have benefits whatsoever.
Myth 7: Rubbing alcohol during fever.
Truth: Rubbing alcohol during fever can make the baby even sicker. Alcohol tends to evaporate fast and bring down the surface temperature leading to cold. Moreover, inhalation of fumes of alcohol may cause choking in lungs. Read more about home remedies for fever in babies.
Myth 8: Heavier meals before sleeping helps baby sleep for long.
Truth: Newborns eat frequently, sleep for a long time and that is all they have to do. They sleep and eat frequently as their nervous system and digestive system are developing fast in addition to other developments.
Infants take a small amount of milk and get their small stomach filled up quickly. Adding big bottles does not make them feel full but rather overloads them which might take a toll on their digestive systems.
Moderation is the key and instead focus on good sleeping habits like regular bedtime; ‘mother’ is synonymous to ‘sacrifice’, don’t mind those frequent night-ups as you would get plenty time to sleep once you get ensured with the good health of the baby and if it is growing properly.
Myth 9: Walkers help baby walk earlier.
Truth: Walkers slow a baby’s ability to walk on his own. Walkers allow babies to move around even before they are physically ready for it, which can lead to unusual movement patterns and delayed muscle control. Babies learn to walk by watching and understanding how their legs and feet move.
MYTH 10: Rubbing wheat flour, milk over the baby’s skin can remove excess hair.
Truth: Facial and body hair are determined by baby’s genes and we cannot do much to remove it. Applying uptan made from wheat, flour, gram flour and milk is not helpful. There is no scientific evidence to prove that they remove or retard hair growth.
In fact, rubbing raw milk can carry a host of bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella which can cause illness such as diarrhoea. Moreover “applying uptans, letting it dry and rubbing it off” is not enjoyed by the babies as it is very painful for them.
MYTH 11: Teething causes fever & teething gels.
Myth – Teething causes fever.
Teething can cause excessive salivation, irritability and inflammation of gums, but it cannot cause fever. Inflammation, anywhere in the body can result in the slight increase in body temperature. However, inflammation seldom causes the temperature to rise over 38℃ to be considered as fever.
Myth – Teething gels are safe.
Pediatricians don’t recommend the use of teething gels for children under 2 years of age. These gels may contain a numbing agent called benzocaine, which, in very rare cases, can affect the blood’s ability to carry oxygen which can be fatal. Make it a point to meet your paediatrician before introducing teething gel to your child.
So if you have been following any of such myths, just stop following them.
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About the Author:
This article has been written by Nivedita. She is biotech graduate and got married in 2013. She is a mother of a cute baby boy. She stays at home and enjoys time with her darling baby.