Parenting expert and author Sarah Beeson MBE has worked with families for over four decades. Her latest book Our Country Nurse written with her daughter Amy Beeson, is set in a country village in 1975 and is bursting with stories of mums' journeys during pregnancy and motherhood. Sarah shares some of the myths mums were told in the 1970s that they're still being told today.

Sarah Beeson

Sarah Beeson

Myth One: You can't get pregnant when breastfeeding

Discussing contraception methods may be a way to lead into talking about having sex again after the birth of your baby with your partner because you can absolutely can get pregnant when breastfeeding.

Myth Two: There's no harm in leaving babies to cry themselves to sleep

Yes, there is. If your baby is really wailing (not just grumping), swiftly attending to their needs is usually best for both of you. Some babies will eventually fall asleep through sheer exhaustion - what they've learnt is that no matter how much they cry no-one is coming.

Myth Three: All babies wean at six months

Recent research has encouraged parents to follow baby's lead as to when to wean and that most babies are ready between four to six months.

Myth Four: You can have sex just six weeks after giving birth

Every woman is different, some are ready at six weeks and others at six months or more. Do what feels right for both of you.

Myth Five: You only get postnatal depression with a newborn baby

The illness can occur in women whose babies are up to nine or ten months old and sometimes, even, in mums with toddlers. It's the misconception it only happens to new mums and babies that discourages women from opening up to their health visitor, doctors or families - they believe they shouldn't be feeling depressed at this stage.

Myth Six: Babies can't choke

0-5 years old are the highest group at risk of choking often on foods like grapes, blackberries and cherry tomatoes. From seven to eight months when your Little One develops a pincer grip and can hold objects between their thumb and finger you can start to serve foods they can safely hand-feed under supervision.

Myth Seven: If your child bites you bite them back

Babies tend to gnaw and bite down to get comfort when teething and if they nip you or bite another adult or child try to momentarily disengage and divert attention. If the child is older blame the behaviour not the child telling them, "We don't like biting.'

Myth Eight: We don't need vitamin supplements

A good balanced diet provides most nutritional needs except for Vitamin D. Recent research show that nearly all under-fives and most adults are deficient in this 'sunshine' Vitamin that is important for bone development.

Myth Nine: When your child misbehaves put them in the naughty corner 

Until a child is about seven they have little concept of right and wrong. When your child misbehaves keep calm and intervene. The best way they can learn good behaviour is from modelling yours.

Myth Ten: You can spoil babies

Putting your baby first isn't about letting your growing baby have all their own way all the time, but it is about being there for them when they need you. You will not be spoiling your baby by swiftly meeting their emotional and physical needs. A new baby is the centre of their parent's world.

Sarah Beeson's parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family has made her the go-to expert for publications and brands including Gurgle, Mother & Baby and she is a Prima Baby Awards Judge. Sarah is an expert for The Baby Show, Mumsnet and Bennetts Skincare.

Our Country Nurse is published by Harper Element and is available paperback at £8.99 eBook and £6.49 and audiobook £12.99. For true stories and expert advice visit