Something that’s been on my mind a lot lately is breastfeeding. I miss nursing Nola but that’s not really what I’ve been thinking about! I’ve been thinking about how sad it is there aren’t more pediatricians and OB/GYN’s who make breastfeeding the norm.
The AAP has recently come out saying that they want parents to think of breastfeeding as not just a lifestyle choice, but as an investment in the short-and long-term health of their newborn. Pediatricians say they have to follow the guidelines that the AAP put out so why aren’t most of them promoting what they have to say about breastfeeding? Why is it not part of the newborn’s first checkup for the doctor to watch the baby nurse to check for a good latch and then follow up with a new mom that nursing is still going well 1 week, 2 weeks, and 1+ months later? Why is giving a newborn shots for sexually transmitted diseases at birth required but not a quick check up to make sure they are receiving exactly what they need for optimal health and growth? I’m not trying to blame pediatricians for their lack of knowledge when it comes to breastfeeding, but why aren’t they being taught more about it?
We had a great pediatrician who was very informed and supportive about breastfeeding. She was studying to become an IBCLC and I believe she is one now. We left the practice due to conflicts of interest regarding vaccines but I’m so glad to know she is out there being a great support to new moms and hopefully encouraging more doctors to get on board with helping moms meet long term goals.
I get some women have problems nursing their babies (remember. . . I had mastitis 11 times, sore nipples for 12 months straight, a newborn who wouldn’t latch for days, and an overabundance of milk). I also am aware that there’s a very small number of women who actually don’t produce enough milk to breastfeed exclusively (small as in like 2-3%!). I battle this constantly – knowing how to promote breastfeeding in a positive light without offending those who feel any kind of guilt over not breastfeeding. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I want to become a lactation consultant to help others for this reason. I still have too many negative feelings towards my own breastfeeding relationship that I’m trying to work through that I just don’t know if I’m ready to sincerely – without judgement – help others. I still sometimes feel sick to my stomach when I hear most of the excuses women give for ending their nursing relationship prematurely. Once you have a baby – it’s not just about you anymore. It’s not about your lifestyle, your comfort, and your needs. It’s all about that new baby. . . and that baby deserves the best. It also makes me sick to know that most women end it because a lack of information and support.
I found this and had to share! It’s a list of questions to ask a potential pediatrician for your new baby. . .
Tips from Laurie Jones, MD, IBCLC:
- How long do you recommend a child be breastfed?
- Do you routinely supplement breastfed babies?
- Do you have an IBCLC in your office?
- Do you have a resource list for breastfeeding help if I need it?
- Is anyone on your staff specially trained to help breastfeeding mothers?
- Do you encourage mothers to nurse in your waiting room?
- Do you have handouts or other support materials for breastfeeding mothers?
- Do you encourage mothers to nurse if they desire while the baby has shots or other procedures?
- When do you recommend solids be introduced?
- When do you recommend a child be weaned from breast milk?
- Do many of your patients reach the recommended 12 month mark for breast feeding?
- Do you use the 2010 CDC growth charts based on breastfed infants?
- Do you offer formula bags to your breastfeeding patients?
- Does the office display formula brochures or formula bags in the front office area or exam rooms?
- How do you feel about extended nursing and child-led weaning?
- What resources do you use to check if a drug is safe in breast milk?
Boldness but still loving – helping but not judging. That is my goal!