Earlier this season, researchers in Scotland examined the disjunction between the idealism of exclusive breastfeeding and the fact that lots of families experience. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the initial 6 months of life for all babies. Other organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that most babies consume breast milk for the initial 12 months of life for maximum developmental and immune benefits. According to the Scottish study, most women find these goals unrealistic, despite the known long-term great things about breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
Breastfeeding can reduce the incidence of diabetes, asthma, obesity, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and SIDS. In reality, the World Health Organization has been quoted to call colostrum-the breast milk that the mother makes in the initial couple of days after a baby is born-“baby’s first immunization” because of the immunological benefits so it confers to newborns. According to the authors of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, “exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months by 90% of U.S. mothers could prevent 911 infant deaths and save the U.S. healthcare system US$13 billion.” Research has additionally shown that babies who’ve been breastfed excel in speech and language development and have higher IQ levels. Breastfeeding also provides myriad health benefits for mothers as well-there is a significantly lower incidence of aggressive breast cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, ovarian cancer, and diabetes in women who’ve breastfed.
If 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 huge benefits and joys of breastfeeding, these low rates are likely due to a lack of support within in the infrastructure of the healthcare system and inside our communities at large. In reality, 産後胸戻らない the mothers interviewed in the Scottish study said that the lack of support from healthcare providers, nearest and dearest and friends contributed to their decision to stop breastfeeding before their baby was 6 months old.
The unfortunate 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. Many women receive some education in breastfeeding prenatally say, during a childbirth education class, but get very little continued counseling through the postpartum. Furthermore, the women in the analysis are right when they said that lots of healthcare providers paint a rosy picture of breastfeeding, choosing and then speak of the beautiful bonding experience that the mother-baby nursing dyad has during breastfeeding or the long run health benefits. Too few people actually speak about the normal challenges and pitfalls that the woman may face while establishing breastfeeding out of concern with discouraging new mothers from getting started. In the long run, however, the ladies that are challenged by finding a good latch, sore nipples, pumping at the job, 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. They’re but a several challenges that breastfeeding mothers may face.
To express that lots of women are not obtaining the support they need from their communities to continue exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months postpartum would be an understatement. Though some companies support breastfeeding insurance firms on-site lactation consultants, clean places for expressing breast milk, and on-site day care centers, many employers still do not have good systems in place to guide a mother who needs to express her milk every few hours to keep her milk supply on her growing baby. Even though that lots of states have laws that protect a woman’s right to express milk in a clear place other when compared to a bathroom-for around 3 years after the birth of the baby-some women are asked to pump in the tiny stall of the business bathroom. Others struggle to have the break time that they should express milk every few hours to stop engorgement which could lead to a breast infection.
Breastfeeding mothers have been escorted off of 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 general public find breastfeeding lewd, offensive or inappropriate. In Maine, regulations states “a mother has the proper to breastfeed in just about any location, whether public or private, provided that she’s otherwise authorized to stay 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 benefits on her 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 the way in which that nature created for us to nourish and nurture our offspring. There are often a number of key moments in the initial 6 months of a baby’s life where mothers are up against your decision to persevere through the nursing challenges or to modify to formula or exclusively feeding solid foods. However, more support from knowledgeable, skilled healthcare providers who utilize a non-judgmental approach to counseling that extends beyond the initial 6 weeks postpartum is paramount of these critical times. Let’s be open and honest concerning the realities of breastfeeding-which could be hard and frustrating occasionally and beautifully transcendent at other time. By supporting each other, we can chip away at the target of exclusively breastfeeding for the initial 6 months of life everyday, one feeding at a time.