Breastfeeding is misunderstood. It may be natural, but that does not make it easy, spontaneous or free. If we want to make policies that respect breastfeeding, we can start by debunking these six myths.

Breast milk is free (and five other myths about breastfeeding debunked)

(Featured photo: Rafael Edwards / Flickr)

“Your mother breastfed you until the age of four?! Yuck!”

I was in my early twenties, sitting on a cushion on the floor of the living room of my flat in Santiago, Chile. Some visiting friends and I were all shocked when Marcela, my flatmate, confessed that she remembered the taste of breast milk because her mother had breastfed her and her younger siblings for many years.

The feeling in the room was unanimous – we were grossed out. How could a mother feed a child who already speaks and walks and will remember the experience vividly? We even had a psychologist among us who ventured into Freudian interpretations of how pathological Marcela’s relationship was with her mother.

Fast forward 15 years, and here I am, still breastfeeding my 20-month-old son Lorenzo, with a full understanding of how good it is for him to have access to this superfood*,  while developing a very secure attachment to me.
(*Human milk has amazing properties. For example, its levels of antibodies go up if a child is sick. At night, it has higher melatonin content – the hormone that regulates sleep – to make a feeding baby feel sleepy.
You can read more about human milk’s amazing prop…

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