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Top Breastfeeding Myths

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Kids & Teens

Breastfeeding is ideal for both the infant and the new mother. Breast milk is the natures creation to perfectly match your newborn babys sensitive digestive system. It is perfectly balanced in water, protein, carbohydrates and fat, enormously rich in vitamins, minerals and antibodies. Even the temperature is ideal for the soft mouth of your baby. This is the secret formula, prepared by the nature to keep your baby healthy and ensures her proper growth and development. The perfectly balanced ingredient in breast milk builds up babys resistance against chronic diseases. The close contact between the baby and the mother during feeding time leads to strong emotional bond between them.

A good start with breastfeeding is the first step for the culmination of wonderful mother-child relationship. But breastfeeding at first appears to be dreadfully difficult to most of the young mothers. Then in every culture, the new mothers are exposed to countless myths relating to breastfeeding that only adds to the complexities. But with the help from the experts, the difficulties can be easily overcome to make it smooth.  In fact, breastfeeding proves to be an enjoyable experience for both the mother and the child, and not a boring tiresome procedure for the mother. Here we have tried to clear confusions relating to some common breastfeeding myths that tend to make breastfeeding experience unnecessary complex for the uninitiated mothers.

Many women do not produce enough milk and that supply of milk during the first 3 or 4 days after birth is insufficient are two commonly believed myth, which have little scientific base. The complain that in spite of being in the breast for a considerable time, the baby is still hungry, is not the effect of insufficient quantity of milk, but the poor latching of the baby on mothers breast. For this reason, the proper breastfeeding starts with the learning of proper way of latching on the baby.

As contrary to the myth that a baby should be on the breast for fifteen to twenty minutes on each side, there can be no such fixed time. If the baby is actually sucking the milk for more than ten minutes, he may not need to drink from the second side. If the baby does not drink and only nibble or goes to sleep within minutes on the first side and repeat it on the second, it indicates, the baby is not properly latched on and not getting the flow. In such cases mothers are advised to compress the breast to create an increased flow of milk.

The myth that the nursing mother should be selective in her diet is not at all true. At the best she should aim at getting a balanced and healthy diet. Neither does she needs to avoid particular foods, nor does she need to consume more of a particular type of food. As contrary to popular belief, the colic or air in the babys stomach is not the result of what the mother eats.

The milk supply does not also depend on the quantity of the mothers food intake. The common belief that nursing mothers need around 500 extra calories per day simply lacks universal base, as there are instances of women taking low calorie diet produce milk that is sufficient for the child. It is generally recommended that the mothers food intake should be determined by her appetite.

Nursing mothers milk cannot dry up suddenly. Milk production can vary during various times of the day, but it can not stop abruptly. With the baby growing there occur certain changes that make it appear that the flow of milk suddenly dropped drastically.

In such cases, the baby needs to be breastfed more frequently than before and within a few days the flow will be normal once again. You can also help your baby to get more milk through breast compression.

Sometimes the mothers are advised against resuming breastfeeding after a few days gap because of the belief that it turns the milk sour. It is an absolutely wrong conception.

Even a century ago, breastfeeding until 3 or 4 years of age was a normal part of life in many cultures. But in modern days, breastfeeding for long receives criticisms from many blocks of the society. But the mothers should always remember that there is no alternative for mothers milk for building a happy and healthy future for your child.