Breastfeeding can either be a wonderful experience or a nightmare to a first-time mother. Picture this. As you are near to your labour and delivery, your colleagues and relatives share a huge load of advice about how to handle your new born baby, how to breastfeed and how to increase your milk production. Feeling overwhelmed and confused, you are uncertain whether their advice is applicable to your situation. Worry not, we are here to clarify some misconceptions about breastfeeding to guarantee your smooth breastfeeding journey. What you need is to spend some time understanding the process of breastfeeding and to stay positive about breastfeeding your baby. 4 Popular Breastfeeding Myths #1: Colostrum is not the right milk for breastfeeding Image credit to Pexels During your first few days of after birth, you are eager to breastfeed your lovely baby. It turns out that your breast milk does not seem to be as white as it should be. You become anxious and people around you might start to tell you that you are unable to produce breast milk. So, for the sake of your baby, they advise you to feed your baby with infant formula. Listening to individuals who are lack of the knowledge and expertise in lactation will deprive your baby of the nutrition found in the first few days of your breastfeeding. The fluid produced during the first few days of breastfeeding is colostrum. As colostrum is highly concentrated with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and other minerals, it is certainly an ideal nourishment for your new born baby. You are actually stimulating your baby\u2019s growth and building his\/her immune system to fight against bacteria and viruses by providing them colostrum. Colostrum supports your baby\u2019s heart, bones and brain development 4 times better than your mature milk. With the antibodies present in the colostrum, you can even guard your baby against tummy upsets, diarrhea and even newborn jaundice. So, be persistent to feed your baby with colostrum during the few first days of your breastfeeding. You will see mature milk coming in to continually support your baby's growth and development. #2: Every breastfeeding mum needs galactagogue Image credit to Unsplash As mothers, we are constantly looking for alternatives to give our baby the best that we can. So, even before you start breastfeeding, you are asking around for ways to increase your milk supply and you start to include galactagogue in your daily diet. So, what is galactagogue? Galactagogue is prescription medication, herbs and food that helps to increase the flow of your breast milk. While mothers with certain medical condition might need galactagogue to increase their milk supply, average mothers does not necessarily need it. Here\u2019s why. There are other effective alternatives to increase and maintain your breast milk supply besides herbs and medications. You should reach out for professional lactation help for better positioning, regular feeding and pumping and appropriate breast compression. Wearing suitable nursing bras\u00a0 is important as tight bras and tops inhibit your milk supply. You must also know that galactagogue does not increase a milk supply on its own without any milk removal by a baby or a breast pump. Most importantly, you need to start breastfeeding with the positive assumption that you will produce enough milk for your baby. Your low confidence level with the ability to produce milk will only cause you stress. And galactagogue is certainly not the perfect solution for you if you do not believe in yourself in meeting your baby\u2019s needs. # 3: You cannot breastfeed your baby when you are sick Image credit to Pexels While we are in the journey of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still exposed to other common illness such as cold and flu. So, can you breastfeed when you are having cold or flu? The answer is certainly a big YES! Except for some rare medical concerns, you can safely breastfeed your baby while you are sick. You can always refer to your professional lactation consultant and doctor if you are really uncertain whether the medication is safe for breastfeeding. In fact, your\u00a0baby might has been exposed to the illness before you notice the symptoms. This gives you more solid reasons to breastfeed your baby. As your body produces antibodies to fight against the flu and cold, the antibodies will be in your breast milk too. This simply means that you are providing your baby with the protective antibodies to fight against the illness. You can help to lessen the likelihood of your baby getting sick. Remember, you can never pass on any\u00a0illness to your baby through breast milk, but you can pass on the protective antibodies through your breast milk. #4: Your breast milk must be white Image credit to Unsplash Whether you believe or not, your breast milk does not always appear in milky white fluid. The colour of your breast milk depends on the stage of lactation and also what you eat and drink daily. During the early stage of breastfeeding, you will be producing colostrum which comes in clear and watery fluid. As you continue to breastfeed and you produce more milk, you begin to produce transitional milk and mature milk. Your breast milk will change to whiter or creamy coloured milk. Every time when you begin breastfeeding, the breast milk would be slightly more blueish and watery to quench your baby\u2019s thirst. As you are towards the end of your breastfeeding process, you will notice that your breast milk becomes thicker and more creamy with higher level of fat and calories. If your milk appears in blueish and brownish, it is most likely because you are currently having herbs, supplements and even medication in your daily diet. Having red food such as beets will also lead to reddish breast milk. The colour of your breast milk changes too during the storing, freezing and defrosting process. So, be well-assured that your breast milk is the best for your baby. In reality, you will rarely see the difference of your milk colour unless you are pumping your milk. You Are The Best for Your Baby The human milk is so amazing that it is constantly changing to meet the needs of your growing baby. It provides your baby with hundreds of nutrient such as protein, iron, vitamins and minerals that will change in proportions as your baby grows up. In Motherhood Malaysia, we truly believe in the power of mother nature. So, get yourself a good breastfeeding start and have faith in your breast milk. Share with us your journey of breastfeeding too during this special August of world breastfeeding month.