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Myths & Facts
Myth : Colostrum (milk in first 2-3 days after delivery) should be discarded because it is stale and is not for the baby.
Fact : Colostrum is neither stale nor harmful to the baby. Colostrum contains a lot of infection fighting substances. It is rich in vitamins K and A. It is highly nutritious and must be given to the baby immediately after birth. It is the first immunization of child. Hence, it is criminal to discard it.
Myth : Baby should be given honey, sugar water or jaggery water before the first breastfeed to welcome him to this world.
Fact : These substances given traditionally before the first breastfeed are called prelacteal feeds and are not necessary. They interfere with establishment of breastfeeding and can introduce infection into the newborn's vulnerable system.
Myth : Small breasts produce less milk.
Fact : Milk production depends on secretory glands in the breast that are same in number in all breasts. Its supportive fatty and connective tissue determine the size of a breast. Small breasts produce milk as efficiently as large breasts.
Myth : If a pregnant mother breastfeeds then the baby in the womb may be harmed.
Fact : Breastfeeding does not harm the baby in the womb. A normal mother can continue to breastfeed up to the last trimester of pregnancy, and if she so chooses, even after the birth of a new baby. This is called tandem feeding. She should however ensure good nourishment for herself. A pregnant woman with a risk of premature labor should not breastfeed during pregnancy.
Myth : Malnourished mother produces lesser quantities of inferior quality milk.
Fact : Breastmilk is produced at the mother's expense. Even undernourished mother produce enough quantity of milk for to ensure optimal growth of their infants for six months. Food and nutrition of the mother does not affect the quality or quantity of her breast milk. However, it is a good idea to give a lactating mother extra calories in her diet.
Myth : Mother should not breastfeed the baby when she is ill.
Fact : During common illnesses like cough and cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting or even in common diseases like typhoid, T. B, jaundice mother can breastfed her baby. She can even continue to take medications for these illnesses. In diseases like cancer or AIDS a healthcare provider should be consulted.
Myth : If a child cries excessively it means that mother has less milk & hence mother should start feeding top milk.

Fact : Inadequate milk is only one of the many causes of excessive crying. Majority of the babies with excessive crying pass urine more than 6-7 times in 24 hours & gain more than 500 gms in a month. This indicates that a baby is getting enough milk from the mother & one should look for other causes of excessive crying. The baby may be wet, or cold, or warm, or maybe running fever due to a hidden infection, or may have ear pain, or may simply be wanting to be picked up. Excessive crying should not be the reason for starting top milk.

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Disclaimer: All material provided at Breastfeedingindia.org is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.