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50 myths about breast feeding and breast milk substitutes

Myth 1: 
Breast feeding is very strenuous, problematic and uncomfortable. Hardly anyone can do it for a long period of time. 

The Fact: 
There is nothing easier, more convenient and, by the way, cheaper for a mother and her child than correctly organized breast feeding. But to do it so one needs to learn how to breast feed. Here the best teacher is not a book or a magazine for parents but a woman who has been breast feeding her baby for more than a year, thus getting only positive emotions from it. There are women who were breast feeding for a long time but who regarded this process as punishment. For example, a mother had been nursing for a year and a half and for all that time she was pumping out milk after every feeding. And when she finally decided to wean the child, she got mastitis because of the wrong actions. Now she keeps telling everyone that breast feeding is a hell. Still, there was not a day when she nursed her baby in the right way. 

Myth 2: 
Breast feeding spoils the shape of breasts. 

The Fact: 
In fact, nursing does not improve the shape of breasts, but it is not when the changes take place. It is during pregnancy when breasts grow bigger and heavier and may even sag due to their shape. So what is actually happening? 
During the time of lactation breasts change. Nearly in 1-1,5 months after the delivery and with regular lactation breasts become soft and produce milk only when the child sucks. In 1,5-2,5-3 years the involution of the mammary gland takes place and lactation gradually ends. 

The mammary gland “falls asleep” till the next time. In natural conditions it coincides with the reduction of the child’s need in nursing as well as with weaning, while breasts remain soft. If a woman does not nurse, the involution of the mammary gland takes place during the first month after the childbirth. Still, the shape of breasts does not return to the one before pregnancy. (Moreover, if to think about the function of women’s breasts, it is nursing that it is all about). 

Myth 3: 
Breast feeding spoils the figure. 

The fact: 
Many women are afraid to put on weight while nursing. The thing is that a woman mainly gains weight during pregnancy but not when breast feeding. In fact, if before getting pregnant she was trying to meet some standards of fashion such as 90-60-90, for example, then while expecting a baby she gains her natural genetically-programmed weight + 7-10 kilos in the uterus, amniotic fluid, the growing volume of circulating blood and a little more of some other things. There may be a considerable gain in weight during pregnancy. A woman starts to grow thin after 6-8 months of nursing and gradually within 1,5-2 years she “gets rid” of all that had been gained. 
Thus, it turns out that breast feeding helps to improve the figure. 

In fact, it happens very often that having stopped nursing in 1,5-2 months after the delivery, a woman puts on weight. Probably it is connected with the incipient hormone imbalance, since no woman is cut out for such a rapid weaning.  

Myth 4: 
One has to prepare breasts for nursing (then follow various recommendations from sewing into the bra some hard rags to advising husbands to “resolve the ducts” of their wives at the end of the pregnancy) 

The Fact: 
There is no need to prepare breasts for nursing, for nature has taken care of it and by the time of delivery body is ready for breast feeding. Rags, for example, can cause an irritation of the skin. Moreover, various manipulations with the nipple by the end of pregnancy may lead to some undesirable consequences due to stimulation of the oxytocin reflex: stimulation of the nipple – output of oxytocin – the consequent contraction of the uterus – the uterus in tone – and, as the worst variant, stimulation of premature birth. On the whole, have you ever seen a cat with a rag in its bra, or a monkey having a massage shower? 

Myth 5: 
Breast feeding is impossible with a flat or inverted nipple. 

The Fact: 
Strange as it may seem, for a baby the nipple is just the point from which milk comes out. If a baby sucks in the right position, the nipple is placed at the level of the soft palate and, thus, does not take part in nursing. A baby sucks not on the nipple but the mammary areola, massaging and expressing it with the tongue. 

It is difficult for a child to keep in the mouth breasts with flat or inverted nipples, and it is also harder to suck. 
A mother should be patient and insistent during the first days after the childbirth. Any infant will learn very fast to suck on even the most “inconvenient” breasts. 

During the process of breast feeding the nipple changes its shape, stretches and get a more comfortable shape for the baby within 3-4 weeks. Also, there are various gadgets called “nipple formers” that are put on right after nursing, when the nipple is still stretched, and are worn till the next feeding. Nipple formers keep the nipple in the right form. But one can do without these things. 

It is important that a mother with flat or inverted nipples prevents her baby from sucking anything but her breasts, for after sucking a bottle or a dummy such a child quickly gets used to them and begins to reject mother’s breasts. In such a situation a mother will need even more patience and insistence. 

Myth 6: 
One should not nurse a newborn for more than 5 minutes, otherwise, breasts will crack. 

The Fact: 
A child should be nursed for as long as it is necessary and feeding stops only when the baby lets the nipple go. As far as cracks are concerned, there are two groups of the reasons for it: 

1. The mother washes her breasts before every feeding. 
If she does it (particularly with soup, and then puts some brilliant green after nursing – a usual practice in Russian maternity homes) – thus, she constantly washes away the protective layer of the areola, that is produced by special glands situated round the nipple, and make the skin dry. Actually, this protective lubricant is produced to prevent the loss of moisture of the gentle skin of the nipple. It also 
has bactericidal properties, puts down the growth of pathogenic germs, and what is more important for a baby, it smells like amniotic fluid. 

2. The reasons connected with the incorrect position of the baby and his behavior when being nursed. As a result, if the baby is sucking in the wrong position, then 5 minutes in about 3 hours is enough for abrasions and cracks to appear. 

The baby can be sucking in the right way but in the process of feeding he may perform various movements that can cause cracks, provided the mother does not know that these movements should be corrected and the baby should be let behave in such a way. 
One should remember that the baby has not had this experience before and is not aware of how to do it right (he knows just the principle of sucking). Unfortunately, the majority of women do not know how a baby should act during breast feeding. In fact, these mothers have hardly ever seen it. 

So, what a child should not be allowed to do? “To come down” to the tip of the nipple. It usually happens when a bay does not bury his nose in his mother’s breasts 
while sucking. If the mother feels that the grip is changing, she should try to press the baby’s nose to her breasts. 

Very often it is enough to improve the position. If it doesn’t, the mother should take the nipple and put it in the baby’s mouth in the right way. Not a single minute should the child be sucking in the wrong position. It is all the same to him how to suck, he does not know that his mother is suffering and that the wrong position does not let him suck out enough milk, as well as, that there is not enough stimulation of the breasts, thus, there will be a lack of milk. 

Also, the baby should not be allowed to play with the nipple. A child, that has learned to go down to the tip of the nipple, sometimes starts to let the nipple go through open jaws here and there. This is definitely painful and unpleasant for a mother; however, most women still let their babies do it. As they put it: “Whatever, as long as he sucks…” But what for? 

Sometimes it happens that children who do not feel the breasts with their nose start to search for them with the nipple in their mouth. In this case the baby should be pressed to the bosom, to make him understand that there is nothing to look for. 

What is more, if a woman has long and big nipples the baby takes breasts by taking several steps, “going up” by making a few motions. It also happens when the child has already sucked a dummy and does not open his mouth well. Consequently, the nipple gets hurt very quickly. To avoid it, one needs to put the nipple into a mouth open wide, carrying the nipple past the jaws, as deep as possible. 

Mothers also do not know how to take away breasts. The typical picture of maternity hospitals with separate stay is as follows: a baby is given to his mother for 30 minutes, he has been sucking in the right way for all these 30 minutes and, actually, he would be sucking even longer, but the nurse has come and the mother (quickly or gradually) draws the nipple out of his mouth. Even six times of such a practice a day is enough for abrasions to develop. The nipple should be taken out only after having opened the jaws with the little finger (quickly put the tip of the finger into the corner of the mouth and turn it – it is not painful and no one is suffering). 

Myth 7: 
The baby sucks out everything he needs within the first five-ten minutes of nursing. 

The Fact: 
An older child can really get the biggest part of milk within the first five-ten minutes. Still, it is incorrect to apply this fact to all children. Newborns, who just learn to suck, do not always do it effectively. In fact, they usually need more time to be full. Also, the amount of milk depends on its flow. Some mothers have an immediate milk flow, others – after some time since the sucking started. While some produce milk in small portions during one feeding. It is easier not to guess the necessary time for nursing but to let the baby suck till he gets satisfied – for example, the child will set breasts free, relaxing his hand. 

Myth 8: 
Till there is no milk, mother should give water to her child. 

The Fact: 
During the first twenty-four hours after delivery colostrum is produced in the mother’s breasts. On the second day it gets thick, on the 3-4 day there may be produced transitional milk and on the 7-10-18 day comes out mature milk. Usually colostrum is produced in very small amount and it is thicker than milk. This is the main argument for giving some additional water or food to newborns in the majority of Russian maternity homes (for he is suffering from hunger and thirst). 

If the child needed large amounts of liquid immediately after birth, nature would have created the woman so that she would produce huge amount of colostrum right after delivery. But the baby does not need extra water. All that he needs comes with colostrum and milk! Water, which is given to the child while the mother has colostrum, literally "washes away" the colostrum from the digestive tract, thus, depriving the baby of the vital effect of colostrum. Moreover, water is given in the bottle what leads to "nipple confusion" and the child can be provoked to reject mother’s breasts. Water causes a false feeling of satiety and reduces the child’s need for sucking. If we give the baby 100g of water per day, he sucks 100g of milk less (it does not just concerns newborns). The kidneys of the newborn are not ready for the big load of water and begin to overwork. 

Myth 9: 
Milk is food. A baby needs to drink water or tea. 

The Fact: 

Breast milk contains 85-90% of water and fully meets the child’s needs of liquid, even in conditions of a hot climate. As long as you have not started to give your child solid food, not give him water, juice or special tea for kids. All these kinds of liquid are much worse digested than woman’s milk, hamper the functioning of kidneys and can even lead to bowel disorders because water "washes out" the microflora of the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract, which starts to grow due to human milk. In addition, all these fluids may contain infectious agents and induce allergy. 

When feeding only begins to improve, the baby may feel a false sense of fullness, after sipping some water. In this case he will suckle less and, therefore, get less milk and worse stimulate its production. There are quite a few cases of children’s poor weight gain who due to drinking water get less breast milk. 

Myth 10: 
As long as there is no milk, mother has to feed her child with infant formula milk, for he is starving and losing weight. 

The Fact: 
The child is not cut out for getting anything apart from colostrum and milk. In the first days of life colostrum is enough for him and loss of weight is the physiological norm. All children lose up to 8-10% of the weight during the first two days. By the 5-7th day most children restore or start gaining weight. Hence, additional feeding with infant formula milk during the first days of a child's life - is nothing but a gross interference in the functioning of his body. Actually, this interference can be called a metabolic disaster. But in the majority of Russian maternity hospitals this fact is not in the least taken into consideration! 

Moreover, a baby is given infant formula milk in a bottle that quickly leads to "nipple confusion" and the child's denial of breasts. Sometimes only one or two feedings from a bottle can be enough to make the child no longer take mother’s breasts! 

Infant formula gives a sense of satiety, stays long in the stomach what reduces the child’s need for suckling. As a result, breasts are less stimulated and milk production goes down. 

Breast milk is a natural and physiological product for the digestive system of the baby. If your child shows signs of reaction to feeding, it is usually caused by a foreign protein mingled with the mother's milk. And it has nothing to do with the milk itself. This problem can be easily solved by a temporary exclusion of allergenic foods from the mother’s diet. 

Myth 11: 
I nurse my child on demand! – And he asks for food every 3,5 hours! 

The Fact: 
Feeding on demand means feeding your baby whenever he squeaks or starts searching. A baby needs breastfeeding round his sleeping, so he falls asleep at the breast and when he wakes up he is also given the breast. A newborn baby during the first week of his life can really be nursed relatively rarely - 7-8 times a day, but during the second week of life the intervals between feeding are always getting shorter. When awake a baby can ask the breast up to 4 times per hour, that is, every 15 minutes! On the 10-14th –day there may be a peak of sucking, up to 60 breast feedings per day. It is rare, but still a normal option. 

In most cases, the moment when a child begins to ask for more feeding, the mother decides that he is starving and gives him supplementary feeding. But the child asks the breast not because he is hungry. It is that he constantly needs to confirm the feeling of physical contact with mother. 

Myth 12: 
A nursing mother should make intervals between feedings in order to give the breasts time to get full. Thus, one should feed no more than 6 times a day. 

The Fact: 
Every couple "mother-child" is unique. In the body of a nursing mother milk is continuously produced. Partially the mammary gland can have the function of a "breast milk tank" for some women may store more milk, and others - less. The less milk there is in the breast, the faster the body works at its production; the fuller the breast is, the slower is the process of milk production. If before feeding a mother always waits until the breast gets "full", her body can take it as a signal that too much milk is produced and reduce lactation. 

Myth 13:

A child's ability to withstand the intervals between feedings is determined by how much he ate (quantity), and not by what he ate - breast milk or supplementary feeding (quality).

The Fact:

When being nursed, the baby’s stomach gets empty in about 1.5 hours. While those who are fed with infant formula need up to 4 hours. It is that infant formula is heavier and longer for digestion due to the larger molecular size in comparison with human milk. In spite of the fact that the quantity of what is absorbed at a time affects the frequency of feeding, the quality of nutrition is important as well. Anthropological studies of mammal milk confirm that human babies are adapted to frequent feedings and have been fed this way for the bigger part of human history.

Myth 14:

Feeding on demand is a nightmare! It is impossible to sit for days and feed the baby!

The Fact:

This is what tend to say mothers who do not know how to breast feed right. When feeding is properly organized, the mother is having a rest! She is lying, relaxed, hugging her baby and the baby is sucking. What could be better? Unfortunately, most women cannot find a comfortable position; they sit down, awkwardly holding the child, with the back or arm becoming numb. If they feed in the lying position, than they usually "hangs" over the child on the elbow, and, thus, the elbow and the back become numb. And if in addition the child is not having the breast correctly, his mother gets hurt ... Whatever pleasure is there to say about? In the first month or one and a half month after birth, when the child is randomly being nursed, without any clear pattern, and he is sucking frequently and for a long time; the mother can feel good only on condition that breastfeeding is well organized, it is convenient to feed for her and she can do it while standing, sitting lying down, and even moving.

Myth 15:

Feeding on demand does not increase the baby’s close contact with the mother.

The Fact:

Feeding according to regime prevents the synchronization of systems of the mother and her child, what significantly reduces their physical and emotional connection.

Myth 16:

Feeding on demand has a negative effect on marital relationship

The Fact:

Experienced parents know that newborn babies need a lot of attention, but as time goes by the intensity of their needs decreases. In fact, joint care of the newborn helps even more to bring together parents as they learn together to raise a child.

Myth 17:

Too much of holding the baby can spoil him.

The Fact:

Children who are little held in the arms usually cry more and, consequently, show less self-confidence.

During his life in mother's abdomen, the child gets used to the following things: warmth, narrowness, the sound of mother’s heartbeat and breathing lungs, the intestines rumbling, the smell and taste of amniotic fluid ( that fills in the child's nose and mouth), most of the time the baby sucks on his fist or the loop of the umbilical cord (learning to suck). Only in these circumstances does the baby feel safe and comfortable. After birth he can get in similar conditions only if the mother takes him in her arms, puts him to the breast, and then he will again feel narrowness and warmth, he will hear the familiar rhythms and as he begins to suck, feel the familiar smell and taste (smell and taste of milk and amniotic fluid are alike). And a newborn child wants to fall into such conditions as often as possible. While the modern mom cannot wait till the intervals between feedings increase, and when the child begins to eat every 3,5 - 4 hours, as well as when he stops to wake up at night ??? They wish it would happen as soon as possible!!! And, usually, the timid attempts of the child to ask the breast are responded to with a pacifier, a rattle, or they are given some water or being talking to and entertained. Most often the child is put to the breast only when he wakes up. And he quickly agrees to such a situation... The baby always takes his mother's position... But here "hidden rocks" are awaiting the mother and her baby - the lack of stimulation of the breast leads to reduced milk production.

Myth 18:

After each feeding it is necessary to express milk residues, otherwise, milk will disappear.

The Fact:

It is false for there is no need to express milk after each feeding if breastfeeding is properly organized.

If to feed your baby 6 times a day and do not express milk than, indeed, milk can disappear very quickly. But if to do it after each feeding, it is possible for some time to maintain lactation. The terms vary, but it is rarely for more than six months, and there are single instances of cases of feeding with such behavior more than a year.

When a mother feeds her baby on demand, she always has enough milk for the child and there is no need for expressing after each feeding. For a newborn to suck out all the milk, during 2-3 hours he should be put to one breast, and the next 2-3 hours - to the other. Somewhere after 3 months when the child is already given the breast relatively rarely, he may want to be given the second breast, in this case, the next time he will be put to the one that was the last.

There is one serious negative consequence of regular milk expression after feeding that even most doctors are not aware of. It is called lactase deficiency. When a mother expresses milk after feeding, it is "back" fat milk that is expressed, which is relatively poor in milk sugar, lactose. Thus, the baby is mostly nursed with the “front” portion, which accumulates in the breast between rare feedings. The front portion of milk contains a lot of lactose. As a result, the child mainly eats lactose, in some period of time his gastrointestinal tract can no longer cope with such portions of lactose. Hence, lactase deficiency develops (lactase is an enzyme involved in the splitting of lactose - milk sugar, there is not enough of it). This is one of the causes of lactase deficiency; the second one is, for example, when a woman gives the child two breasts in one feeding.

Myth 19:

It is necessary to give the child two breasts in one feeding

The Fact:

It is false. A newborn child is put to one breast during 2-3 hours. Than for 2-3 hours to the other one (e.g., 5 times within 3 hours to the right breast, as he has sucked out all milk - to the left one). We need that the baby sucks out the breast to the end and gets a portion of the "front" and "back" milk in a balanced quantity. If in the middle of feeding put the child to the other breast, he will not get enough "back" milk rich in fat. He will preferably suck out of one breast the front portion and from the other get the same quality of milk. Front milk is rich in lactose, after some time the child stops to cope with the load of lactose. Consequently, lactose intolerance develops.

Shifting the baby from one breast to the other can cause hyper lactation in some women, and if the mother is additionally expressing both breasts after each feeding ... There are such mothers. But it can be more difficult to fold the excess milk than to add the missing ...

Myth 20:

Sucking on the fist is very harmful

The Fact:

All end of pregnancy the baby was sucking on the fist, in that way he learned to suck. Sucking on the fist is one the inborn habits of the baby. After birth the baby starts doing it as soon as a fist gets into his mouth. If the baby’s need to suck is fully met with breastfeeding, the child will break the habit by 3-4 months. (Then, when 6-7 months old, he starts to "seek teeth," but that's a different type of behavior).

The baby sucks on the fist the same way as he sucks on the breast. Some babies can behave very funny when after having sucked to the breast, he also tries to put his fist into the mouth...

Myth 21:

My baby asks for a pacifier

The Fact:

The child is not designed by nature to suck on anything other but the breast (and his fist in extreme cases). A baby is always trained to take a pacifier. Some children at once push it out with the tongue. While others begin to suck on it. In addition, there are mothers who hold a pacifier with a finger to prevent the child from pushing it out. Usually, the child gets a pacifier for the first time when he is fidgety and the mother does not know what to do. To calm down a baby needs to suck on the breast, once given something different he has nothing to do but suck on it....

Myth 22:

A child never confuses sucking on the breast and on a rubber nipple

The Fact:

Sucking on the breast and on a bottle requires different oral-motor skills from a child. Rubber nipples are a kind of "super stimulators" that can leave their mark on the suckling reflex instead of the softer nipple of the breast. As a result, some children might have the so-called nipple confusion when they try to suck on the breast as if it were a rubber nipple.

Myth 23:

Sucking, that is not related to feeding, has no scientific base, and a mother's breasts are not a pacifier!

The Fact:

Experienced nursing mothers know that different children at different times have various regimes and need for sucking. Some children satisfy their need to suck during feeding, while others may be put to the breast soon after feeding while still not being hungry. Besides, sucking calms a child down when he is sick, feels lonely or scared.

Comfort and satisfaction of the need to suck on mother's breast are a natural conception of nature. Pacifiers are just a substitute for the mother when she is not available. As far as other reasons for avoiding the use of pacifiers instead of the breast are concerned, they are: the risk of development of dentofacial anomaly, a shorter period of lactation amenorrhea, nipple confusion and inhibition of milk production in sufficient quantities, which reduces the chances for of successful feeding.


If the child often asks for the breast, it means that he is hungry and there is not enough milk

The Fact:

As it has already been mentioned above, a newborn often asks for the breast not because he is hungry. He wants to suck, he needs his mother. A baby requires constant confirmation of psycho-emotional and physical contact with his mother.

Children suck on the breast not only because they are hungry. They are put to mother's breast to feel intimacy, comfort and pleasure, as well as in the state of hunger. Many mothers believe that if a child sucks frequently and a lot, it means that he is hungry, they start to give the baby infant formula, which he does not need. Actually, there is a significant difference between breastfeeding for comfort and sucking on the rubber nipple of the bottle.

When satisfying the need for comfort the baby sucks out the main portion of milk. It continues to flow, but at a much slower pace. If the child continues to suckle, he still sucks out less amount of milk.

While in the case of a bottle, milk flows quickly all the time. Therefore, if the child satisfies the need for sucking with the help of a bottle, he will overeat and then suffer from overweight.

If a child is really hungry or thirsty, suckling will only increase milk supply and will satisfy the baby’s needs.

Myth 25:

Control feeding will make it clear whether there is enough milk

The Fact:

Actually, we will not find out anything during control feeding (a baby is weighed before and after feeding, than the difference is calculated to see how much he has sucked out). There are several reasons why this method does not work:

A) A child who is being nursed on demand continuously sucks out different portions of milk. Sometimes he may eat only 5ml, sometimes 50ml or 150ml. There is a chance that he will take 5 ml when being weighed. (Once I weighed my daughter after thirty-minute sucking. She gained 14 g. During the first month of her life she gained 1200 g – so what would the local pediatrician have said, if it had happened during control feeding in the clinic?)

b) The baby is designed to eat small but frequent servings of milk. The majority of newborns who get 6-7 feeding a day still suck small portions of milk, and it does not mean that during every feeding they eat 120 ml of milk. And they definitely do not have enough to eat. As a result, such children slowly gain weight or stop weight gain, or even lose some weight. There are two ways that will help you to learn whether there is a sufficient quantity of milk or not:

1. Test of wet nappies. (This is a test of wet nappies, and not of diapers because you need to know exactly the number of urination). If a child older than 7 days pees more than 6-8 times a day, with his urine light, transparent and odorless, it means that he gets enough milk. Usually, while awake, a child pees every 15-30 minutes. If a mother uses diapers, but wants to know whether her child gets enough milk, she should take off diapers for three hours. If within three hours the baby pees 3-4 times or more, there is no need to go on counting. If he pees 3 times or less, continue counting for 6 hours. If in six hours he has peed 4-5 times and more, one can stop counting further, if less than 4 times continue considering further. And so on ...

2. A weekly gain of weight (for a child older than 7 days) should be from 125 to 500 g.

Myth 26: 

If to frequently put the baby to the breasts he will quickly suck out milk. The breasts will be soft all the time, for there is no milk. That is why it is necessary to "save" milk for feeding

The Fact:

When feeding the child on demand, the breasts become soft in about a month after the beginning of feeding, when lactation becomes stable. Milk is only produced when the baby sucks. The breasts are never "empty", in response to the baby's suckling milk is produced all the time.

If the mother is trying to fill the breast for feeding and is waiting until it "gets full", by such actions she gradually reduces the amount of milk. The more a mother gives the breasts to her baby, the more milk is produced, and not vice versa.

When a child is given the opportunity to suck as much as he needs, the amount of milk meets the baby’s needs. The reflex of milk production functions most efficiently with good tides that happen just when feeding the baby on demand.

Myth 27:

The stomach must rest

The Fact:

Actually, the baby’s stomach is not really working that much. Milk only turns there and is quickly evacuated to the intestine, where proper digestion and absorption take place. It is another old prejudice about the feeding regime of every 3 hours. A newborn has no regime. Not a single mammal does regular intervals when feeding their babies. The child's body is adapted to a continuous flow of breast milk, and he does not need to rest.

Breast milk is unique food which helps the baby to digest itself. In the early life of a child his own enzyme activity is low. Milk contains enzymes that help the body metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

The baby can constantly suckle and absorb mother's milk without any harm to his health. This explains the ability of newborns to frequently suck on the mother's breast for a long time.

Myth 28:

A child up of eight weeks needs 6-8 feedings per day, one of three months - 5-6 feedings a day, and a baby of six months - no more than 4-5 feedings per day

The Fact:

The required frequency of feedings depends on the amount of the mother’s milk, the ability to store breast milk, as well as the individual needs of the child at the moment. Leaps of growth or illnesses may alter the usual mode of the child’s feeding. Research shows that infants, who suckle on demand, determine their unique mode suitable for the situation. In addition, the energy value of milk goes up by the end of feeding. That is why, arbitrary limitations of the frequency or duration of feedings may lead to the child receiving calories than he needs.

Myth 29:

The metabolism of a newborn baby is irregular and to organize it correctly one should feed he in compliance with the regime

The Fact:

Since the moment of his birth a child is able to eat, sleep and sometimes stay awake. This no disorganization in it. This is a normal expression of the unique needs of infants. As time goes by, the child naturally gets used to the rhythm of life in his new world, and it does not require any stimulation or training.

Myth 30:

After each feeding the child should be held upright for 20 minutes

The Fact:

One should not hold the baby upright after each nursing, especially if the child is asleep. Most of the time the baby is lying on his side. If he belches little, then just change the nappy under his cheek. One has to hold vertically the child who is not fed with mother’s milk, in order to prevent him from spilling the 120grams of what has been poured into him. And we are talking about babies being fed on demand with small portions of his mother's milk. In addition, the cardiac sphincter of the stomach needs training that it can get only if the child is lying.

Myth 31:

At night one has to sleep

The Fact:

At night it is necessary not only to sleep, but suckle on the mother’s breasts.

The majority of newborns are arranged in such a way that they sleep from 10-11 pm till 3-4 am, and then they begin to wake up and ask for the breast. A child of one month is usually nursed 4-6 times in the early hours (3 a.m. to 8 a.m.). When feeding is properly organized night nursing looks like this: the baby gets worried and his mother puts him to the breast, the baby falls asleep sucking and mother also sleeps, after a while he lets go the breast and sleeps more sound. And over the night there are 4-6episodes of this kind. All this is easy to arrange, if the mother is sleeping with her child, and for this she must be able to feed her baby while lying in a comfortable position.

If a child sleeps separately from the mother in his bed, he stops waking up for early morning feedings, sometimes within a week after birth, sometimes by being 1.5-2 months old. Most modern moms take it with relief, because the night running back and forth is over. But here a difficulty is waiting for them - called the lack of stimulation of prolactin and, consequently, decrease the amount of milk.

Mother and her child is a wonderful self-regulating system. While the baby needs to suckle in the morning, his mother body produces the maximum amount of prolactin, just 3 to 8 a.m.

Prolactin is present in a woman's body all the time in small quantities. Its concentration in the blood increases significantly after the child begins to suckle, most of it is produced in the predawn hours from 3 to 8 in the morning. Prolactin which appeared in the morning is engaged in milk production in the afternoon hours. It turns out, that the one, who sucks during the night, stimulates prolactin in his mother’s body and provides a decent amount of milk in the afternoon for himself. And the one who does not manage to suck in the night hours, can pretty soon be left with no milk in the afternoon.

Not a single mammal does night breaks in feeding.

Myth 32:

Never awaken a sleeping baby

The Fact:

Most children make it clear when they are hungry. However, in the neonatal period, some children may not wake up sufficiently enough for feeding, and, if necessary, one should awaken the baby to make him get at least eight feedings per day. Rare awakenings for feeding may be associated with medicamental delivery or medicines taken by the mother, or jaundice of the newborn, birth traumas, pacifiers and / or behavioral inhibition due to lack of timely response to signs of hunger.

In addition, mothers willing to take advantage of the natural contraceptive effect of lactational amenorrhea find that the menstrual cycle does not renovate longer when baby sucks at the night.

Myth 33:

I have no milk because of stress

The Fact:

The production of milk is dependent on the hormone prolactin, the amount of which depends on the number of feedings and not on anything else. The worries of a mother on any occasion have no effect on it.

But milk let-down depends on the hormone oxytocin, which is committed to contribute to the contraction of muscle cells around the lobule of the gland and thus contributing to milk flow. The amount of this hormone is very dependent on the psychological state of the woman. If she is frightened, tired, in pain, or any other inconvenience during feeding - oxytocin ceases to work and milk stops to flow from the breast. The baby cannot suck it out, even the breast pump as well as hands do not help to express milk…

Ever nursing mother has seen the manifestation of "oxytocin reflex": when hearing a baby (not necessarily their own) crying, milk starts to leak. The body tells the mother that it is time to feed the child. In a situation of stress or fear nothing like this is observed. (Connection with the ancient instinct of self-preservation: if a woman runs away from the tiger and it smells her milk leaking, the tiger quickly finds and eats her. That is why, while she is running in fear in the jungle with a child under her arm, milk does not leak till she gets to a secure cave and quietly sit down to feed the baby. Only then will milk come up).

Modern stressful situations work the same as those tigers. For milk to begin to flow again, one has to try to relax at feeding time, to think only about the child. You can drink soothing herbs, shoulder massage is fine as well, or a relaxing conversation. Anything that helps to relax.

But the majority of today's mothers are not able to relax while feeding, they feel uncomfortable while sitting or lying, sometimes the process of feeding is painful - all this prevents the manifestation of the oxytocin reflex - milk stays in the breast, which leads to a decrease in lactation.

The most common cause of milk shortage is rare feeding and / or incorrect putting to the breast and its grasp. Both of this comes from the nursing mother’s lack of information. Problems with sucking may also adversely affect the amount of milk. Stress, fatigue or malnutrition rarely lead to a shortage of milk, since there are strong coping mechanisms that protect lactation, even in times of famine.

Myth 34:

If to feed the baby at night, the mother would be so tired that soon she will not be able to feed at all


This can actually happen if a mother in need of continuous sleep would often wake up to nurse the child.

Some children right from birth do not ask to eat during the night, but there are very few of them. The belief of pediatricians that during the night a child's stomach must rest, and that it is necessary to keep a 6-hour interval between feedings, has been found to be incorrect.

Some moms can easily endure sleeping for two hours with a break for feeding, but they are in the minority. Most mothers want to sleep, but most children need night feedings - and who knows what is more important: the next portion of milk or direct contact with the mother.

Mom’s and baby’s needs can be combined, if to sleep with the child. He will feel secure, and the mother’s body will produce the hormone prolactin, which maintains the production of milk - it happens especially well at night.

Myth 35:

Frequent nursing can lead to postpartum depression

The Fact:

It is believed that postpartum depression is caused by fluctuations of hormones after delivery and may be exacerbated by fatigue and lack of social support, though for the most part this happens to women who had a history of psychological problems before pregnancy.

Myth 36:

For fear of child obesity, it is necessary to limit the number of feedings and give water

The Fact:

A breastfed baby gains 125 to 500g per week, or from 500 to 2000 g per month. Usually a child born with a weight of 3-3.5 kg, by 6 months weighs about 8 kg. The rate of weight gain is very personal. And there is nothing of "overeating" about actively gaining weight babies who grow rapidly in length and look proportional. Children who gain 1,5-2 kg per month during the first six months of life, during the second half of the year usually have a drastically reduced weight gain and by one year old can weigh 12-14 kg.

There is no need to limit the number of feedings, and, especially, to give water.

Studies show that children who suckle on demand get the optimal amount of milk that corresponds to their individual needs. The risk of obesity in the following years increases when feeding a baby with infant formula and the early introduction of food, but not when feeding on demand.

Myth 37:

The child does not get enough nutrients so on the 4th month of his life he needs additional food

The Fact:

The need for additional food appears when a child is about 6 months of age, when he actively starts to have an interest in what out there on the dinner table.

Such behavior is called an active interest in food, and it shows that the child is ready to get acquainted with new food and it can be started. However, fully absorb the vitamins and other nutrients from alien food a child begins only after one year.

Breast milk contains all the nutrients the baby needs.

Myth 38:

By 4 months the majority of children reject breast milk, and mothers have to start giving them infant formula

The Fact:

Why are we talking about the age of 4 months? A friend said she stopped breast feeding at 4 months. A pediatrician persuades a mother: "You should nurse at least up to 4 months!" Even documents to a scientific conference say: "To achieve the rate so that 80% of children under 4 months get breast milk is a difficult and unattainable task." So what happens when a child is 4 months old?

According to perinatal psychologists who study the behavior of infants, in the first 3-4 months of life the first step of separating the baby from his mother takes place - when the baby for the first time presents himself as a personality. He does it to the best of his abilities: when resting on the mother’s hands he sets his hands and feet against her body; turns and resists when she wants to nurse him; cries when have hardly taken the breast and after making a few sucking movements; or takes one breast, but refuses to take the other one. It seems as if the child is provoking the mother: how will she behave in such a situation? Whether she is a reliable protection for him?

If in response to such a change in the child's behavior (called "false rejection of the breast") the mother gives him additional "proof" of her reliability – continues to offer the breast, feeds the baby at night, does not give him bottles, pacifiers, water or solid food, and is ready to feed the baby in different positions that are convenient for him – in this case the crisis of 3-4 months passes away pretty quickly. The most important is that it is mother who should take care of the child at this time, while all the other family members should only take care of her. This is best thing that improves contact between mother and child, which the baby needs so much during this period.

However, if the mother is not aware of the crisis of 3-4 months, does not understand the behavior of the baby, if the beginning of brea