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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


MARQUES, Emanuele Souza; COTTA, Rosângela Minardi Mitre  and  PRIORE, Silvia Eloiza. Myths and beliefs surrounding breastfeeding. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.5, pp.2461-2468. ISSN 1678-4561.

The scope of this work was to analyze the main myths and beliefs surrounding breastfeeding for the theoretical-practical perspective of the various studies extant in the literature. The studies were obtained by bibliographical surveys in the main databases (Medline, Lilacs, scielo), retrieved using the key words "Breastfeeding," "Weaning," "Myths" and "Beliefs" (and their versions in English and Spanish). Books, theories, dissertations and publications in international and national organs were also consulted. It was seen that over the centuries there have been doubts surrounding the correct form of suckling newborns based on concepts that include biological aspects and socio-cultural determinants. It was seen that various myths and beliefs surrounding suckling generate either feelings of guilt, anxiety, or feelings of trust and support in the breastfeeding mother with respect to her capacity to produce breast milk. In this respect, it is necessary for healthcare professionals to understand suckling from the maternal standpoint, dispelling myths and beliefs, altering outlooks, in such a way as to comprehend the various factors present in suckling, acting in a more effective way for prolongation and maintenance of breastfeeding.

Keywords : Breastfeeding; Weaning; Myths; Beliefs.

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