THE MYTHS FOR THE MOTHER
- When mother is ill or unwell, the breast feeding should be stopped. This is a myth. There is no need to stop breast feeding if the mother is ill. If the mother is suffering from malaria, typhoid, cold-cough, dengue fever or diarrhoea, vomiting then also she can do breast feeding. Thyroid, infectious jaundice, breast abscess and HIV+ are some of the illness where mother should consult the doctor and follow all his instructions regarding breast feeding. If the mother is taking radiotherapy, chemotherapy or if she is taking certain hormone secretion medicines then the mother cannot do breast feeding. While breast feeding the child a mother can consult the gynaecologist and can take contraceptive pills.
- It is a false belief that if mother has been working in water and then immediately she takes the child for breast feeding then the child will catch cold.
- If the mother has green vegetables, the child will have green stool; if the mother has beans or pulses, the child will have gastric trouble; if the mother eats orange, banana or curd the child will catch cold. All these are just myths. The breast feeding mothers can have eat all the different food dishes made at home, all fruits, vegetables, pulses, beans and milk items. All these food items after getting into stomach turns into sugar, fats and proteins. And that does not harm the child. The breast feeding mothers should avoid having the outside food, cold drinks, sweets etc.
- If the mother has less milk, then she will get less breast milk. This is a wrong belief. Mother should not only have milk but should also have balanced diet containing variety of food including liquids. So that the mother does not feel to much fatigue, tiredness, headache, body ache, backache, blood pressure, irritation, depression etc. otherwise nature has things so beautifully that even a mother who is poor or labourer and does not have any balanced diet also gets breast milk in good quantity and of good quality. If she hasn’t had the fluids in ample amount then the above stated problems might happen to her but there will be no effect on the quantity of the breast milk. A breast feeding mother should take milk or milk products in adequate quantity so that she doesn’t suffer from calcium deficiency.
- One mother cannot give her breast milk to other mother’s child. This is completely a myth. The quality of the breast milk of any mother is always good. In any joint family if the need arises then the aunt gives her breast milk to the nephew. The donor mother should not having any disease like infectious jaundice or HIV+. In the breast milk bank, frozen breast milk of mothers is collected, stored and then given to needy new born infant. The mother who is healthy, fit and fine and donates her breast milk for others then that is the best social work done by a mother. In Rajasthan, there are many villages where there is a common site of a mother breast feeding her kid and a chinkara’s baby who has got separated from it’s mother.
- The mother who has delivered the baby through forceps or caesarean gets less quantity of breast milk for initial 3 to 4 days. This is a myth. Whatever may be the technique of delivering the baby, but if the mother and baby are perfectly healthy then within one hour after delivery the baby should be made to suck the nipple. If the child starts sucking early, the breast milk will be formed early. If mother has undergone any surgery then once she gets better and perfectly sound she should start the breast feeding.
- Breast feeding the baby in public places is not advisable. This can be said as a social stigma rather than a belief. Because of this stigma and fear that how will it look, the mother starts the outside milk when she has to go to a public place or in a social function. This is called a social tragedy. Society and family members should give complete support and encouragement so that the breast feeding mother can feed the baby without any hesitation or fear. On one side if the mother does not attend any gathering then people point out fingers at her and on other side when she needs to feed the baby in public place then people pass comment on her, this is definitely not acceptable and because of this she falls in miserable condition. But if people try and give some support then the mother will give only breast milk to her child. So that the child will be saved from the side effects of the outside milk. If the mother needs to feed the baby in public place then she should wear such clothes that are loose, can hide her body and are comfortable for feeding the baby.
- The mother had some problem while breast feeding the first child and the breast milk did not come properly and in adequate amount. So she will have problem while breast feeding the second child and milk will not come. This belief is not true. If during the first child there was a problem regarding breast feeding and the reason behind the same was not traced or its solution was not found out, then this might happen. During the delivery of the first child mother is in little bit more stress. It is her first experience and what will happen is the question that arises in her mind. Mother should talk to her gynaecologist about her stress. After the birth of the second child, mother should keep the child close to her and should make her suck more and more nipple. With the support and help of the family members and doctor, mother will be able to do successful breast feeding to her second child.
- By breast feeding the baby mother becomes fat and the shape of her body becomes weird. This is absolutely false. By breast feeding the calories of a mother’s body burns out. Her weight reduces and she can bring her body in good shape.
MYTHS PREVAILING REGARDING THE BREAST
- It’s a wrong belief that if the size of the breast is small, less quantity of milk will come and if the size of the breast is big, more quantity of milk will be formed. There is no correlation between the size of the breast and quantity of milk. Even if the breast are small and nipples are flat adequate amount of milk can be formed. If there are flat nipples the child may not be able to suck the nipples, but make the child suck more and more. If the nipple shield is massaged properly and proper usage is made then after few days mother will get good amount of breast milk and the child will also get used to and will start sucking properly. The mother whose breast is less developed should not remain stressed and should bring negative thoughts in her mind with regards to breast feeding.
- Breast feeding is always painful. This belief is not true at all. If during breast feeding the position of the child and mother is proper that is if proper attachment is there, then breast feeding will never be painful. If while breast feeding she feels pain in her breast or on the nipple, then she should consult the doctor and learn about the correct position of the child and also her position while breast feeding.
- If the mother’s nipple is small, big, little tilted inward, slightly slant, then the child will not be able to feed properly. This is totally wrong. All of these problems can be solved. During the pregnancy if this condition is known to the mother, then also she should remain calm and stress free. Because in almost many cases the position of the nipple gets back to normal naturally after the delivery. After the birth, the child has to suck the black part of the breast and the breast, not the nipple. This statement told by the doctor reduces 50 % worries of the mother. The rest of the problems also get solved when the mother tries different positions of the child while feeding, to keep the child again again close to the breast, kangaroo position, EBM’s proper usage and the use of syringe. The positive approach of the family members is utmost important to boost the morale and confidence of the mother.
- When there is engorgement of the breast, the child cannot learn to feed. This is not true. Because of too much milk in the breast the child is not able to take more part of the breast in its mouth. It definitely finds difficulty in sucking. If the child is able to suck, they make it suck more and more. If the child is unable to suck then with the hands take out the excess milk in a small bowl. Try and pour hot water on the breast or keep a hot water bag on the breast. After breast feeding, the ice pack or cold water will help in the reduction of pain and will give relief to swollen breast. By practising this method the mother gets freedom from the engorgement of breast and child will be able to do successful breast feeding.
- The mother who does breast feeding has to always clean her nipple after breast feeding the child. This is a myth. If the mother is feeding the child with bottle then she definitely has to clean the nipple of the bottle properly after feeding the baby. The breast feeding mother has to clean her nipples only twice or thrice in a day. By cleaning it every time the natural oil of the nipple is lost. Because of which cracks get developed in the nipples. In the end of the breast feeding, the hind milk that comes out has living cells that stick to the nipple. These living cells save the mother and child from various infections. Thus, the breast feeding mother does not need to clean the nipple every time.
- Do the breast feeding on both the breast for equal time period. This belief is also false. The child should be fed from one breast till the it gets empty. If the child then sucks the second breast for only 2 to 3 minutes and leaves feeding, then do not worry. When the mother starts the breast feeding for second time then she should feed from the second breast. The last part of the breast milk has lot of fats and hence it helps in the weight gain for the child. Hence let the child suck the breast till it gets completely empty.
THE MYTHS PREVAILING REGARDING PREGNANCY
- As soon as the mother gets pregnant for the second time she should stop feeding the first child. This is a false belief. For the first six months of the pregnancy it is completely safe for the mother to breast feed the baby. She should stop breast feeding in the last three months. If there is a possibility that the delivery of the second child can happen midterm, then it might happen that mother may have problems of blood pressure, twins or mother has to take up some hormonal injections to keep the pregnancy safe. Then only mother should stop breast feeding the first child in the first six months.
- After the delivery for first three four days the quantity of the milk is less. So outside milk or powered milk should be given to the every child. This is totally wrong. It is right that first three four days the quantity of the milk is less but this milk is of best quality. It satisfies the need and requirement of the child for three to four days. Also this is formed by nature in such a way that it suits the child and can be easily digested by the soft intestines of the child. Because of the less quantity of the milk, the child will try to suck the nipple more because it will feel hungry. If it will suck more and also frequently then the more milk will be formed in mother’s breast and also in good quantity. During this time if we give outside milk to the child it will learn to get things without any efforts. It will feel satisfied. Its ability and proficiency of sucking will weaken and that will hamper the process of milk formation in mother’s breast. In certain cases where the child is highly under weight, highly over weight, mother is diabetic, mother has some other medical problem after delivery, the child is born with cut lips or hole in the palate etc. then after the consultation with the doctor for three to four days outside milk can be given. But there is no need to give outside milk to every child.
MYTHS PREVAILING FOR THE BREAST MILK
- If the baby cries while breast feeding, then it means that the mother will be getting less milk. This is wrong. If the child urinates properly, the weight of the child is increasing but the child keeps on crying again and again then cold or gas might be the reason for crying.
- A four to five year old child takes breast feeding for only 6 to 7 times. May be the quantity of the breast milk is not adequate. So lets start other food. This belief is wrong. The new born baby learns to breast feed and the flow and quantity in the lactiferous ducts also increases gradually. Hence the new born baby has to suck for 12 to 15 times for almost 20 to 30 minutes. In three to four months both the mother and child have become acquainted and are set with regards to the position and technique. In the mother’s breast and lactiferous ducts there is adequate amount and proper flow of milk. In the first month when the child is sucking for 12 to 15 times, the quantity is almost 300 ml to 350 ml. In the fourth month even though the child sucks only for 6 to 7 times, the quantity is almost 700 ml to 800 ml. This child takes up breast feeding for only 6 to 7 times, but still gets sufficient amount of milk. Mother should remain stress free and should feed the baby peacefully. And now if the child feeds for one time and then sleeps for 4 to 5 hours, then she should not worry at all and she should also rest during that time. Between the second and third month the time gap between two feeds becomes 3 to 4 hours then also she should get stressed.
- The breast milk of the mother who is not taking care of her personal hygiene, who keeps on worrying and remains upset is not proper. This is irrelevant. The quality of the breast milk is not dependant on the personal hygiene or on the nature of the mother. If the personal hygiene of the mother is not there, then
- The child might get various infections. If the mother is highly stressed and has irritable nature then there can be contraction of lactiferous ducts and hence the quantity and flow of breast milk might be hampered but never effects the quality of the breast milk.
- The various modern powder tins available in the market contain the similar quality of nutrients that are present in the mother’s milk. So if the child does not do breast feeding, then there is no problem. This is a myth. Even if man makes several tins of powder but he will not be able to create the wonderful and amazing creation and gift of God. Even though many different types of ingredients are added in the powder tins, but the DHA, IRON, TORIN and many other immunity providing agents are there in mother’s milk which are unique. Breast milk is ‘unique nutrition for unique human’. It means that for the children who need different different nutrients get varied nutrition. The powdered tins are made keeping in mind the needs of different types of children. The additional nutrients that are added to the powder are difficult to digest and absorb by the soft intestines of the infants. Thus, when the child’s body is unable to accept the outside powdered milk, then its comparison cannot be made with the precious mother’s milk.
- Because of certain reasons if the mother is unable to breast feed the child for few hours or for few days then the quality and the taste of the breast milk changes and it should not be given to the child. This is absolutely wrong. The working woman who stays out of the house for 8 to 10 hours. Once she comes back home she can give breast milk to her child. Similarly if the mother is unwell, is out of town or for some reasons unable to give the breast milk, then on returning she can feed the baby immediately. The breast milk is over accumulated. Its nothing like that. When the child stops sucking, the new milk stops forming in the mother’s breast and if the child starts sucking, then new milk will be formed in the mother’s breast. Its like demand on supply. This is a unique arrangement made by the nature. If a mother who is giving regular breast milk and has to stop for a few hours, suffers from the problem of breast engorgement. But if the mother takes out the milk through EBM then the problem gets solved.
- The breast milk of the first day shouldn’t be given to the child. This is a false belief. The milk that comes out for first three four days is not that thick, yellow and bit watery which is called colostrum. In look and constituency this might look different then the breast milk. Hence many people believe that this milk might not suit the child and hence it should be thrown away. Actually, this liquid which is called colostrum contains 50 vital nutrients and vitamins in great quantity which increases the physical and mental well-being of the child and boosts the immunity of the child. This milk can never be thrown away.
- Whether the mother is getting breast milk in sufficient quantity can be only known by breast pump. This belief is wrong. If after taking only breast milk the child urinates properly, the child sleeps nicely between the two feeds, its weight is increasing properly, then it can be said that mother is getting breast milk that is sufficient for the need and requirement of the child.
- Vitamin D and Iron is not present in mother’s milk in adequate quantity. Hence the child should be given drops for the same. This belief is also wrong. In mother’s liver there is ample quantity of Vitamin D and Iron which fulfils the need of the new born baby. Mother should take Vitamin D and Iron in sufficient amount during the days of pregnancy and also while breast feeding the baby. Now a days, the scientists and researchers have found out that since last three decades people have stopped remaining in sunlight for sufficient time. Hence, there is deficiency of Vitamin D in most of the mothers. The deficiency of Vitamin D cannot be just met in mothers only during pregnancy days and breast feeding days. Moreover in India almost 40 % females are malnourished or malnutrition. The Muslim ladies wear BURKHA because of which they are suffering from deficiency of Vitamin D. various studies and researches show that Vitamin D helps in the child’s physical, mental development and immunity. Hence every new born baby should be given the drops of Vitamin D till he or she becomes one year old. The drops of Iron have to be given to the babies who are born before the full term or they are underweight. Every normal new born baby does not need that.
- To increase the breast milk every time AYURVEDIC or homeopathic medicine must be taken. If such medicines are not taken, then the quantity of the breast milk does not increase. This is a wrong belief. Any mother who is physically and mentally fit who is taking balanced diet, who has complete support and help of her family members and who makes her child suck the nipple in the proper manner will definitely get good quantity of breast milk. But in few cases if the prolactin hormone secretion that increases the breast milk can be enhanced by giving the allopathy medicines or SHATAVARI [ASPARAGUS RACEMOSUS] AYURVEDIC medicine. Never take medicines on your own. If the doctor feels that the mother needs the same then he or she will suggest them to her. Many a times it happens that actually these medicines do not help the mother but the mental satisfaction that she is taking a supplement helps in the increase of the breast milk.
- If a child takes formula milk along with breast milk instead of breast milk alone then the development and growth of the child is faster and better. This is not true. With regards to weight the child that takes outside milk might be ahead. But the requirement for physical and mental well-being for six months can be fulfilled by breast milk only. The intestines of the child do not have certain immunity agents that can fight certain enzymes present in the outside formula milk. Thus the babies who have both formula milk and breast milk have to face more problems than the babies who have just breast milk.
MYTHS PREVAILING REGARDING THE BABIES
- If the child feeds for less time [around 5 to 7 minutes] or for less number of times [5 to 6 times a day] then it might be the case that mother is getting less breast milk. This is not true. If after taking only breast milk the child urinates properly, the child sleeps nicely between the two feeds, its weight is increasing properly, then it can be said that mother is getting breast milk that is sufficient for the need and requirement of the child.
- The child be must given jaggery water or galtuthi as the first intake. In galtuthi commonly people give honey, jaggery water, glucose water or sugar water before giving the breast milk for the first time. If theses things are given before the breast feeding then there is a fear that the new born baby might get infection in the intestines or digestive system. And if the child stomach is full, he or she might not take up breast feeding. Thus, the child does not need any galtuthi or gripe water.
- Premature babies or under weight babies should start taking the milk first with bottle. Then only they will learn to suck the nipples in a better way. The premature babies or under weight babies have the less ability to suck that is true. But they should be given milk with spoon and bowl or dropper and that also EBM or the formula which is according to their requirement. At this point of time if the baby is given bottle then it will have the nipple confusion. Once if the baby gets habituated to suck the nipple of the bottle, then it will find difficult to suck mother’s nipple and lots of efforts will have to be made. If the child sucks less then the breast milk will also be formed less in quantity.
- When there are twins, mother will not get sufficient breast milk that is will fulfill the requirement of both the babies. Hence the twins should be given outside milk from beginning itself. This belief is not true.
- If the is suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting then the breast milk should be stopped. This isn’t true. If the child is suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, then along with the doctor’s medicine continue giving the mother’s milk. At this point of time, the best cure is the mother’s milk. If the breast feeding is continued then the chances of dehydration will go down. Moreover, the nutrients present in the breast milk are lysozyme, interleukin, secreting IgA and luecocytes will help to stop the infection of the intestines from spreading into blood and other body parts and will also help in reducing the harmful components present in the intestines.
- The babies having only breast milk should be given additional water in the summer season. This belief is not at all true. In the mother’s milk the water content is such that it is sufficient for the child. The initial breast milk is calleb the fore milk which has lot of water content which quenches the baby’s thirst. In summer if the child cries between two feeds then it it is good to give the child mother’s EBM. If we give water then there is no side effect but it happens so that the child will that much less breast milk.
- It the child is 3 months old the mother’s milk is sufficient, then the additional food items should be given. This belief is false. Mother can successfully do the breast feeding till the child becomes six months old. There are adequate amount of nutrients in the breast milk till the child becomes six months old which are required for its growth and development. There is absolutely no need to give additional food to the child till he is six months old.
- Because of only breast milk the child’s weight has increased a lot so let us start additional food items or the baby’s weight is not increasing that much, may be because mother’s milk might not be sufficient. These are false beliefs. If the child urinates for 6 to 7 times and sleeping peacefully then the child is getting sufficient amount of breast milk. The ratio of the weight gain varies from 15 grams per day [450 grams in a month] to 30 grams per day [900 grams in a month]. So in four months the child’s weight is increasing or decreasing that is not important. The main point is after the feed the baby is sleeping for two hours and is urinating properly. Hence, there is no need to give additional food.
- Once the baby starts having teeth or starts chewing then it is advisable to stop feeding. This is wrong. Even if the child starts walking or starts getting teeth, the breast milk fulfils the nutrient requirement of the child till the child is two years old. It is advisable that after six months, along with the breast milk semi-solid food, vegetables, fresh fruit juice, porridge etc. is given timely to the child.
- If the child is having cleft lip, breast feeding shouldn’t be done. If there is cleft lip, the cut is small and is on one side of the lips, then the babies with proper weight do not have problem in sucking the nipples. If the cut is big and it is on two sides of the lips and the baby is underweight then it might find difficulty in breast feeding. Such babies can be given EBM. If the baby is having cleft palate, even though it is small or big, then it is not advisable to do breast feeding. Normally when the child sucks the breast, at that time tha palate creates some pressure which pushes the milk in the food pipe but when there is cleft palate then the baby cannot get pressure from the palate and food does not get into the food pipe. Instead it remains in the mouth only. The milk which gets accumulated in the mouth might enter the wind pipe and child might become breathless or may suffer from pnuemonia. Thus if a child has cleft palate, avoid breast feeding.