by Saidu Sebbeh Bangura
(Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa)
In Sierra Leone, lactating mothers fear having sex. The general thought is that when one have sex during lactation the suckling child's health deteriorates, even to fatality. It is a common belief that sex destroys the breast milk and causes the child to have diarrhoea which becomes fatal.
Most of the time these things happen as it is said. As soon as the suckling mother starts having sex the child starts having frequent stools and sometimes dies shortly. the causes (i think) is that once these mothers have got this notion; as soon as they have sex, they stop breastfeeding the child and starts giving it foods (like rice etc)that its system cannot tolerate.
In this direction, there is a need for a wide publicity of the fact that one can have sex whilst breastfeeding without harming the child. this will go a long way in saving many children in Africa.
Easy Baby Life:
Sex While Breastfeeding Cannot Harm Baby
How interesting to read about this wide-spread folk myth in Sierra Leone, and also sad. I have never encountered any studies showing that the breast milk would deteriorate from love making, and my thought is similar to yours - that it is the worse diet after weaning that causes the children to get sick.
I had never heard about this myth before, but will look into it further. Thanks a lot for sharing! I hope you will be able to explain to some of your fellow moms that this myth isn't true.