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BellaOnline's Breastfeeding Editor

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More Breastfeeding Myths

Guest Author - Nicki Heskin

Test yourself on these commonly misunderstood breastfeeding issues or myths…true or false?

1. Nursing past the second birthday makes toddlers clingy and needy.
2. Babies who nurse more frequently in day and/or cluster feed in the early evening may sleep longer at night.
3. Formula is basically the same as Breast Milk.
4. Your pediatrician or OB can answer all questions about breastfeeding.
5. It is necessary to introduce a bottle to breastfeed babies by 4-6 weeks.


--------------------------------------------

Here's the answers:


1. Nursing past the second birthday makes toddlers clingy and needy.
FALSE
Actually, child development experts and early childhood psychologists often explain that having early attachment needs met are actually more independent as they grow. Nursing mothers and babies should nurse as long as mutually desired (per the AAP).

2. Babies who nurse more frequently in day and/or cluster feed in the early evening may sleep longer at night.
TRUE
Isn't this great news? See my article on Cluster Feeding.

3. Formula is basically the same as Breast Milk.
FALSE!
Formula is a far deficient substitute substitute -- a dead, static product only providing the same measurable nutrients in some ways as the live organism of breastmilk but missing many elements. Formula is also static through the feed, and as children age, but breastmilk changes in content specific to a baby's needs through the feed, day, and life of the baby. This is only a small sampling of what makes formula deficient compared to breast milk.

4. Your pediatrician or OB can answer all questions about Breastfeeding.
FALSE
I wish this were always true! Some pediatricians and OBs know more than others, and most can help a little, but very little time (if any) is spent on breastfeeding in medical school. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative has helped a bit with this but baby friendly hospitals are still few and there is far to go. La Leche League and local Lactation Consultants and Educators, as well as the "sisterhood" of experienced breastfeeding mothers are great resources to have lined up for after the baby arrives.

5. It is necessary to introduce a bottle to breastfeed babies by 4-6 weeks.
FALSE
Breastfed babies may not need a bottle ever. If a mother has 6 months or more of leave, she may not ever need a bottle. A straw or cup or sippy after 4 or 5
(or less) months works just as well and doesn't need to be weaned like a bottle. If mom is away from baby only for short or infrequent times, often other ways of feeding work just as well while mom is away. If returning to work full time, many promote introducing bottle by 3-4 weeks , some say 4-6. Some studies show that early introduction makes little difference.



References:

1. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, Bumgarner, LLLI, pgs. 24-30
2. The Baby Sleep Book, Sears, Little Brown, pg 150, The Breastfeeding Book, Sears and Sears, Little Brown, pg 170, Nursing Mothers Companion, Huggins,
Harvard Common Press, pg. 78
3. Counseling the Nursing Mother, Lauwers and Swisher, Jones and Bartlett, pg. 173
4. Jack Newman – Breastfeeding Myths - http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/Breastfeeding%20Myths.asp
5. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, Newman and Pitman, Three Rivers Press, pg. 304






Disclaimer: All material on the BellaOnline.com Breastfeeding website is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Although every effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information as of the date of publication, the author is neither a medical doctor, health practitioner, nor a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation. Information obtained from the Internet can never take the place of a personal consultation with a licensed health care provider, and neither the author nor BellaOnline.com assume any legal responsibility to update the information contained on this site or for any inaccurate or incorrect information contained on this site, and do not accept any responsibility for any decisions you may make as a result of the information contained on this site or in any referenced or linked materials written by others.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Nicki Heskin. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nicki Heskin. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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