Let us hope that our society will soon return to a more favourable attitude towards breastfeeding.
Wrong! Infants all over the world get more fidgety in the evening – irrespective of whether or not they are breastfed. Just image yourself being invited to an 8-course dinner. That's what our little ones also want. After such a dinner, they will often sleep up to five hours which is also referred to as "cluster feeding." This way, the infants get enough energy for the night. At the same time, the frequent feeding reserves enough milk for the next day.
Wrong! During the first 4-6 weeks, these numbers are normal taking cluster feeding into consideration. Afterwards, feeding frequency will develop individually. Some babies maintain this frequency, others require feeding less often. The key factor is the gain in weight.
Wrong! This is an arbitrary determination. Frequent breastfeeding does not lead to stomach ache, not even when the stomach was not emptied completely. The important aspect is that a baby drinks the hindmilk which is rich in energy. To be honest: Will you get a stomach ache if you eat a sweetie, for example, shortly after having eaten? When breastfeeding, short intervals are permitted. Whoever claims the contrary shows how little knowledge about breastfeeding he or she has.
Wrong! The breast milk of all mothers corresponds to the needs of their individual baby. 85 % of breast milk are made up of water to cover the fluid requirement. The other components mainly include fat, lactose and protein in a ratio which is perfectly adjusted to the human baby. If you allow expressed milk to stand, the fat will settle to the top. The milk underneath might have a bluish colour which is normal. Gently heat and swirl the milk to remix the fat again into the milk.
Wrong! There is no breastfeeding diet. Never before have we had such ample possibilities of choosing our food as in the last 50 years. In former times, people were happy to have something to eat at all. And the kids were not more badly off at that time. However, you should avoid tasting extraordinary food you haven't tried before.
Wrong! There are only but a few diseases of a mother when breastfeeding has to be stopped, like e.g. when the mother suffers from HIV infection. When medicine has to be taken, products are available which are tolerable during breastfeeding. Individual face-to-face consultation by competent lactation experts is required.
Wrong! This is an argument widely used by the baby food industry to increase the consumption of baby mash especially at bedtime. Unfortunately, this works neither for us adults nor for the infants. We adults should have something light at night for a better sleep. A baby's sleeping behaviour is different from that of adults. However, most babies will not wake up at night because they feel hungry but due to other reasons. They tend to fall asleep again when being breastfed. Breastfeeding makes both baby and mom tired.
Wrong! There are no scientific studies at all on this topic, but there is widespread copying from each other. Babies will neither get used to nocturnal eating for the rest of their lives nor will it make them fat. Nocturnal breastfeeding does not overfeed an infant. However, the babies shall gradually gain in weight. Besides, breastfeeding is far more than mere nutrition, it satisfies all needs.
Wrong! The way in which a pair handles sex after pregnancy is a very individual issue and independent of breastfeeding. In general, the bosom belongs to the woman, and neither to the child nor husband.
Wrong! There is no study which would confirm that breastfeeding interferes with being pregnant. However, it can be very stressful for the mother. Besides, the nipples will become more sensitive at the beginning of the next pregnancy. Nevertheless, ablactation is recommended for mothers with a tendency of premature deliveries. With a new pregnancy, the composition of the milk will turn closer to that of colostrum and its taste may change slightly. Breastfeeding during a new pregnancy is an individual decision to be made by the respective family.
Wrong! The global strategy of infant nutrition recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of live worldwide. After that, appropriate complementary food can be introduced in combination with continued breastfeeding up to two years and longer. How long an infant will be breastfed is the individual decision of each family. It seems as if industrialised societies have their own myths why breastfeeding should not be prolonged: In the UK, they say that long breastfeeding leads to homosexual children (irrespective of sex), in Germany, they are afraid of harmful substances in the milk, while sexual abuse is feared in the US. Studies which would confirm the statements do not exist.
Wrong! Blame it on the dairy industry. The key factor which influences the quantity of milk is the breastfeeding frequency. Frequent breastfeeding, sufficiently long feeding and changing breasts during breastfeeding (right, left, right, left) will increase the quantity of milk. Food has hardly any influence. However, fenugreek seed or vitamin B can increase milk production.
Wrong! A breast can never be emptied since it does not work like a bottle. Milk is produced permanently. After feeding, the breasts should feel softer. Breastfeeding for an adequate time on one side and on the other as required or changing sides after some time will be adequate. Plugged ducts are caused by stress which, in turn, may have different causes.
Wrong! All breastfeeding moms can exercise. During breastfeeding time, it is all the more important to start slowly so that the body can adjust to the work out. Sore muscles are a sign of overstraining. The taste of the milk may vary after excessive exercising. However, this does not have any negative effect on the infant's health. The milk is neither bad nor spoiled.
Wrong! During pregnancy, everything is geared to maintaining, and the normal loss of hair is also reduced. About three months after delivery, the loss of hair is made up for and the amount of hair might be lower temporarily. This phenomenon occurs irrespective of breastfeeding.
Wrong! In general, the female body created some reserves during pregnancy. Breastfeeding helps a mother to return to her pre-pregnancy weight more easily. Having a child is challenging. New mothers should take care to deliberately look after themselves. Most of the time, they think of themselves last. The baby, older children, husband and household have priority. It will help the mothers to treat themselves: An afternoon nap, e.g., is not luxury but should be obligatory for any new mom, irrespective of whether or not she is breastfeeding. Being a mom means to be present 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year – without legally defined rests. No employee is expected to cope with such a situation. Mothers need our support!