Earlier this season, researchers in Scotland examined the disjunction between the idealism of exclusive breastfeeding and the truth that many families experience. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the very first 6 months of life for many babies. Other organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that all babies consume breast milk for the very first 12 months of life for maximum developmental and immune benefits. Based on the Scottish study, the majority of women find these goals unrealistic, despite the known long-term benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
Breastfeeding can decrease the incidence of diabetes, asthma, obesity, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and SIDS. In fact, the World Health Organization has been quoted to call colostrum-the breast milk that a mother makes in the very first few days after an infant is born-“baby’s first immunization” due to the immunological benefits that it confers to newborns. Based on the authors of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, “exclusive breastfeeding for half a year by 90% of U.S. mothers could prevent 911 infant deaths and save the U.S. healthcare system US$13 billion.” Research has also shown that babies who have been breastfed excel in speech and language development and have higher IQ levels. Breastfeeding also provides myriad health advantages for mothers as well-there is just a significantly lower incidence of aggressive breast cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, ovarian cancer, and diabetes in women who have breastfed.
In case a mother and her infant have so much to get from breastfeeding, why are exclusive breastfeeding rates at 6 months postpartum only at 15% in the U.S., based on the CDC? Despite much promotion of the benefits and joys of breastfeeding, these low rates are likely due to a not enough support within in the infrastructure of the healthcare system and in our communities at large. In fact, the mothers interviewed in the Scottish study stated that having less support from healthcare providers, family members and friends contributed to their decision to avoid breastfeeding before their baby was 6 months old.
The unfortunate the reality is, not absolutely all healthcare professionals fully support breastfeeding and what’s more-not all healthcare professionals are knowledgeable or skilled in providing breastfeeding support and counseling during nursing challenges. 卒乳後胸がしわしわ Many women receive some education in breastfeeding prenatally say, within a childbirth education class, however get hardly any continued counseling throughout the postpartum. Furthermore, the women in the study are right once they said that many healthcare providers paint a rosy picture of breastfeeding, choosing simply to talk about the beautiful bonding experience that the mother-baby nursing dyad has during breastfeeding or the future health benefits. Too few of us actually discuss the normal challenges and pitfalls that a woman may face while establishing breastfeeding out of fear of discouraging new mothers from getting started. In the long run, however, the ladies that are challenged by obtaining a good latch, sore nipples, pumping at work, or getting chided in public places while nursing often feel blindsided by these challenges or feel guilty about not achieving the “ideal picture” of a breastfeeding mother. These are but a several challenges that breastfeeding mothers may face.
To express that many women are not getting the support that they need from their communities to continue exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months postpartum could be an understatement. Although some companies support breastfeeding by having on-site lactation consultants, clean places for expressing breast milk, and on-site day care centers, many employers still do not have good systems set up to aid a mother who needs to state her milk every few hours to keep up her milk supply on her behalf growing baby. Despite the fact that many states have laws that protect a woman’s right to state milk in a clean place other than a bathroom-for up to 3 years after the birth of their baby-some women are asked to pump in the tiny stall of the company bathroom. Others struggle to obtain the break time that they need to express milk every few hours to avoid engorgement that may lead to a breast infection.
Breastfeeding mothers have been escorted from airplanes, asked to leave restaurants and courtrooms, and shuffled into dressing rooms of major malls while breastfeeding their infant. The reasons cited? Some members of the public find breastfeeding lewd, offensive or inappropriate. In Maine, what the law states states “a mother has the proper to breastfeed in virtually any location, whether public or private, provided that she’s otherwise authorized to be in that location.” Raised public awareness of the rights of nursing mothers is greatly needed seriously to encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding and maximize the health advantages on her behalf and her baby.
So where do we go from here? First we have to change the cultural attitudes around breastfeeding in the U.S. Breastfeeding our babies is just how that nature meant for us to nourish and nurture our offspring. There are often several key moments in the very first 6 months of a baby’s life where mothers are confronted with the decision to persevere through the nursing challenges or to switch to formula or exclusively feeding solid foods. However, more support from knowledgeable, skilled healthcare providers who utilize a non-judgmental way of counseling that extends beyond the very first 6 weeks postpartum is paramount over these critical times. Let’s be open and honest concerning the realities of breastfeeding-which can be hard and frustrating sometimes and beautifully transcendent at other time. By supporting each other, we are able to chip away at the goal of exclusively breastfeeding for the very first 6 months of life everyday, one feeding at a time.