Earlier this season, researchers in Scotland examined the disjunction between the idealism of exclusive breastfeeding and the truth that numerous families experience. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the very first 6 months of life for several babies. Other organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that babies consume breast milk for the very first 12 months of life for maximum developmental and immune benefits. Based on the Scottish study, most women find these goals unrealistic, regardless of the known long-term great things about breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
Breastfeeding can reduce steadily 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 a child is born-“baby’s first immunization” because of the immunological benefits so it confers to newborns. Based on 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 also shown that babies who have 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 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., in line with the CDC? Despite much promotion of the advantages and joys of breastfeeding, these low rates are likely because of insufficient support within in the infrastructure of the healthcare system and within our communities at large. In fact, the mothers interviewed in the Scottish study stated that having less support from healthcare providers, household members and friends contributed with their decision to stop breastfeeding before their baby was 6 months old.
The unfortunate reality is, not totally 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 then get hardly any continued counseling during the postpartum. 産後に胸がしぼむ Furthermore, the women in the analysis are right when they said that numerous healthcare providers paint a rosy picture of breastfeeding, choosing only to talk about the beautiful bonding experience that the mother-baby nursing dyad has during breastfeeding or the long run health benefits. Not enough people actually speak about the normal challenges and pitfalls that a woman may face while establishing breastfeeding out of anxiety about discouraging new mothers from getting started. Ultimately, however, the women that are challenged by obtaining a good latch, sore nipples, pumping at the office, or getting chided in public areas while nursing often feel blindsided by these challenges or feel guilty about not achieving the “ideal picture” of a breastfeeding mother. They are but a several challenges that breastfeeding mothers may face.
To say that numerous women aren’t getting the support which they need from their communities to continue exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months postpartum would 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 guide a mother who needs expressing her milk every few hours to maintain her milk supply on her behalf growing baby. Even though that numerous states have laws that protect a woman’s right expressing milk in a clear place other than the usual bathroom-for up to 3 years after the birth of their baby-some women are asked to pump in the tiny stall of the organization bathroom. Others struggle to have the break time that they need to express milk every few hours to stop engorgement that may 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 people find breastfeeding lewd, offensive or inappropriate. In Maine, what the law states states “a mother has the proper to breastfeed in just about any location, whether public or private, provided that she is 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 behalf and her baby.
So where do we go from here? First we must 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 very first 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 start using a non-judgmental way of counseling that extends beyond the very first 6 weeks postpartum is paramount during these critical times. Let’s be open and honest concerning the realities of breastfeeding-which can be hard and frustrating at times and beautifully transcendent at other time. By supporting one another, we can chip away at the goal of exclusively breastfeeding for the very first 6 months of life everyday, one feeding at a time.