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Myths & Facts
Myth : After labor of a new mother, the baby should not be kept next to the mother at night, because sometimes mother can sleep over the baby and smother him.
Fact : All mothers are always very alert about their babies even in sleep. Even a little cry from the baby will awaken the mother. Hence, a mother can never sleep over the baby unless the mother is mentally disturbed.
Myth : Mother should not breastfeed in lying down position because breasts can suffocate the baby.
Fact : Mother can very well feed the baby in lying down position & there is no risk of baby being suffocated.
Myth : Baby needs extra water in hot season in first six months of life
Fact : Exclusively breastfed baby does not need any water in first six months of life. It may lead to various infections. Mother's milk contains enough water to provide for baby's requirements even in hot seasons.
Myth : Nipples & breasts should be washed before very feed so that they remain clean
Fact : Frequent washing of breasts & nipples especially with soap & water removes the oil from the skin of areola & nipple thereby making it dry & cracked. It should be washed only during bath once a day.
Myth : Breastfeeding mother should eat certain food items & avoid some others.
Fact : This is not true. Mother need not eat the traditionally offered fat rich foods. Similarly, there is no need to avoid any specific dietary item unless the mother is definitely allergic to that food. She should eat a well balanced diet (Cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits & milk). However, she should avoid eating outside to prevent infection.
Myth : Mother can produce milk only for one baby. Hence, twins need to be topfed in addition to breastfeeding.
Fact : Twins can be fed simultaneously at both breasts, which will increase the supply of milk, as more suckling will make more milk. There is enough milk for both babies for atleast six months. A mother needs to be reassured and supported in breastfeeding her twins.
Myth : It is dangerous to breastfeed during menstrual period.
Fact : It is completely safe to breastfeed during menstrual period. It cannot make the baby ill.
Myth : Left breast produces drink for the baby while right breast produces food. Hence, baby should be fed from both the sides.
Fact : Both breasts produce similar milk. However, both breasts in the initial part produce foremilk (rich in sugar & water) and in the later part produce hind milk (rich in fat). Hence, mother should feed completely from one side so that baby gets both foremilk & hindmilk.
Myth : Jaundice in the newborn baby is due to certain items in her diet.
Fact : Many babies get jaundice in first 7 days of life. This is natural & not related to mother's diet or breastfeeding. However all babies with jaundice need a medical opinion to decide the need of investigations & treatment.
Myth : A breastfed baby must move his bowels a few times daily
Fact : Infants have variable stooling patterns. While at one extreme, some may move their bowels 5 - 6 times daily, at the other extreme, some may move their bowels once in 4 - 5 days. Most breastfed infants have stooling patterns that fall within these extremes. These are all considered physiologic variations and are acceptable.
Myth : A baby who wants to nurse constantly is not getting enough milk.

Fact : There can be many reasons why your baby is suddenly nursing constantly. It might just be what is normal for your baby. It might be a growth spurt, where the increased nursing will increase your milk supply. Sometimes a sudden increase in nursing can precede a baby getting sick. Nursing more can provide valuable protection from illness, as the baby will be receiving more antibodies and immunities during this time.
If your baby is age 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months or around those ages, he/she is probably going through a growth spurt. The increased time at the breasts ensures that your milk supply is increased adequately enough to sustain the baby through the next growth period.
In addition to the above-mentioned growth spurts, which are the most common cause of, increased nursing, some babies also pick up their nursing for other reasons. Are there significant changes in your life, for instance a move or a vacation or visitors in the house? Have you been away from baby more than usual recently? Is the baby getting sick or starting to teethe? Often changes in routine or new stages of development in the baby trigger increased desire to nurse for comfort.
On those days when all you feel you have done is nurse-give yourself credit for what you have accomplished - meeting the needs of your baby!

Facts For Life | Previous Page


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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.