We dispel old wives' tales
How this blog came about.
Breastfeeding and carrying are two choices that are often related. I know very few mothers who carry and don’t breastfeed. But I come across mothers again and again who would have liked to have breastfed and failed. They had too little milk, a breast that was too small, painful experiences, illnesses, operations and so on. Often, they are sad because of the lost breastfeeding relationship. In 99% of all cases, they did not experience professional support that would have worked with evidence-based knowledge. They experienced traditional breastfeeding knowledge, fed by old wives' tales.
When it comes to my breastfeeding preparation courses or counselling, I often hear the following statement:
"Breastfeeding is totally natural. Either it works or it doesn't work. You don't need specially trained counsellors for that."
And there we have it, the stricture. Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not exclusively natural, but also very much "cultural." And our society does not have a good breastfeeding culture. There is a photo of the former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. He is standing in a crowd and is talking with a woman who has uncovered her left breast and is breastfeeding a child of about two years old during the conversation. This is completely normal in Venezuela and no one would think or feel anything out of the ordinary while looking at this picture. Now let's imagine the same situation in Germany with Mr Scholz, the German chancellor. Unimaginable, isn't it? A storm would sweep through the media and probably keep us busy for weeks.
- About 90 percent of mothers in Germany intend to breastfeed their child
- 68 percent of mothers exclusively breastfeed their child after birth, but the number drops significantly in the following months
- After two months, slightly more than half - 57 percent - still breastfeed
- After 4 months, it is only 40 per cent
- Only about 12% of all children in Germany are exclusively breastfed for at least six months according to the WHO recommendation
So only about 12% of all women succeed in doing what about 90% would like to do. How poor that is! And our traditional old wives' tales play a major role in this story. That's why I'm happy to clear up the most common old wives' tales on a scientific basis in the following blog posts.
Read it, it's worth it. And I promise it will be neither complicated nor medical and certainly not boring.
* Source: Robert Koch Institute (RKI) (2020), (KiGGS [= Study on the Health of Children and Adolescents in Germany] Wave 2), (as of 15 July 2020).
This text was written by Eva Vogelgesang
DIDYMOS babywearing instructor trainer and IBCLC and EFNB-certified paediatric nurse