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If breastfeeding is so great, why are the rates so low?

Hanz’s Note : Something for you Nursing Moms to ponder & others to agree or disagree. This article is actually an excerpt from this website http://www.promom.org. In this article, these are the possible reasons that this issue is happening around the world. Have your say, please.

1) Baby-Unfriendly Maternity Hospital Practices

The routine use during labour and delivery often results in babies arriving in this world in a drugged state, unable to bond on their mothers or latch on the breast.The immediate separation of mother and baby so that baby undergo routine tests and procedures (all of which could be delayed without any harm to the interferes with the baby’s ability to initiate breastfeeding during the crucial first hour after birth traumatizes some babies so much that they shy away from all oral stimulation. Since formula is easier to get out of a bottle than human at the breast, even one bottle feeding can cause some babies to form an irreversible preference for the bottle nipple;those babies may never be able to breastfeed normally.

2) Formula Company Marketing Practices

Formula marketing targets women. New mothers are given free samples of formula, babies are given bottles in hospitals, coupons arrive in the mail. The World Health Organization’s Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes prohibits marekting of these products in these ways. It covers formula, other milk products, cereals, teas and juices as well as bottles and nipples.

Many hospitals have arrangements with formula companies in which the hospital receives hundreds of thousands annually from the formula company.The hospital then promises to give every post-partum woman some ‘gifts’ covered with the logo and advertising slogan formula company and contain free formula samples.When the new parents get home with their new baby and their ‘gift’, the result is of following scenario:

Three days after baby is born. 3 a.m.

The baby has been crying for the last two hours.Mother’s breasts are engorged and sore;baby is not latch on and sucking effectively. Parents don’t know what to do.They are worried about baby being hungry.They are exhausted and do not know whom to ask for help.It so happen the free sample of formula is next to the crib so they feed the formula to the baby, and the baby quiets down and sleeps for several hours because formula is more sedating and takes longer to digest than human milk.Mother’s milk supply reduced because the milk in her breasts wasn’t removed by her baby.In the following days, baby needs more milk and more formula is fed. Mother’s milk supply quickly dies up and baby is formula-fed.

Another gimmick is a contest with valuable prizes, run by formula company.

3) Medical Professionals Ignorance of Breastfeeding

Another related reason for low breastfeeding rates is the almost complete absence of breatfeeding curricula in schools.A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at doctor’s knowledge of the clinical aspects of breastfeeding revealed disturbingly high rates of ignorance about why breastfeeding is important and how to handle breastfeeding difficulties.The authors of this study surveyed more than 3,000 residents and nearly 2,000 physicians practicing pediatrics and family medicine and found that few of them knew the basics of breastfeeding such as how to teach mother how to use a breastpump or what to do about low milk supply.Many doctors who are not educated about breastfeeding advise supplementing with formula when any problem arises with breastfeeding.The result: The baby baby quickly weaned from the breast to the bottle because the mother’s milk supply diminishes immediately in response to baby’s diminishing demand for her milk.

4) The Bottle-Feeding Culture

Babies are associated closely with bottles, not breasts. Go to the Department Store.It is difficult to find a baby doll that doesn’t come with a bottle.Look around you where mothers with babies found.Most of the babies are fed with bottles.The sight of a woman breatsfeeding her child in public is so rare.

5) Maternal employment

The belief that breastfeeding cannot continue when the mother works is an unfortunate misconception. Maternal employment is only a complete obstacle to breastfeeding if the mother must be separated from her baby for weeks. Otherwise, an employer need only make minor accomodations to allow employees to breastfeed their babies. With a clean, private place and about 20 minutes every 4 hours, a mother can express her milk for later use by her baby. With on-site or nearby daycare, a mother can breastfeed her baby directly during brief breaks. Even a mother who cannot pump or breastfeed during the workday can breastfeed her baby when they are together and supplement with formula at other times.

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August 7, 2009 - Posted by | Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding, Natural Parenting, Worth-read Articles

7 Comments »

  1. yup..agree…is not easy when our surrounding does not support mom especially new moms who lack of info…rasanya most of Gov hosp dah jadi baby frenly hosp…but private ada lagi yg blum…..

    Comment by Dayah | August 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. terpanggil utk comment..saya bloghopped dr blog kak along lyna..kalau kita just based on 5 point yg ada ni je..one thing yg kita leh buat is.. carik hospital yg memang Baby-Friendly..Sbb bila hosp tu itself baby-friendly..so (berdasarkan pengalaman saya)1-kurang la (tak berani nak kata takde langsung) susu formula free for new mothers. Saya tak dpt langsung..just dpt mandian n bedak baby je..2-ramai la (bukan semua) Medical Professionals kat sepital tu yg aware pasal kebaikkan breastfeeding. APSH is really good on promoting bfeeding to me.3-dgn medical worker n hosp yg mmg support bfeeding, diorang akan bagi ceramah free n pamphlet/gantung poster2 bfeeding n milk expressing info kat sekitar hosp/ward. Saya dpt ceramah free dr nurse 2 kali sebelum deliver. Poster merata2.. just tinggal kita nak or taknak baca n tanye je..Sbb tu yg paling penting..kesedaran ibu tu sendiri. Kata la walaupon all the info ada depan mata, org keliling bercerita pasal goodness of bf/tak susah pon nak express milk..tp kalau ibu tu sendiri amik mudah, tak carik lg ilmu bf sebelum deliver..semangat tu lama2 akan hilang jugak.just my 2 cents 🙂

    Comment by rina | August 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. couldn't agree more. once a doctor told me, mmg ada cases where mom cannot produce enough breastmilk for the child. there are cases yg cannot produce milk at all. but mmg susah nak jumpa such mom. so i believe alasan takde susu pun tak boleh diguna pakai.

    Comment by Mama-Miya a.k.a MiuMiu a.k.a "Jedi Hopeful" | August 8, 2009 | Reply

  4. i agree hanz! tmpt i bersalin ari tu terus bagi afif FM huhu nasib baik afif ni takde nipple confuse..kalau tak maybe i pon end up bg FM kat afif kot!

    Comment by Farah | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  5. ya sangat setuju.. most gov hosp mmg bb friendly langsung x bleh bawak bottle dlm ward n article merata.. pastu dh deliver diaorg akan kerap tya perkembangan kiter bf bb such a very good thing.. tp masa tu i yg blur start keje jer dh campur fm, masa tu sgt less knowledge. skang dh sedar n tanam azam br… hmmm mmg byk private hosp yg x bb friendly siap dh masuk dlm pakej lg biler balik dibekalkan setin fm… apa kejadahnya tu…….. apa2 hal poon yg penting kesedaran mesti datang dr ibu itu sendiri diikuti suami keluarga n org sekeliling

    Comment by puan punyer | August 10, 2009 | Reply

  6. ilmu pengetahuna mengatasi segalanya…mmg ada yg amat tak friendly …hatta misi yg kerajaan bayar gaji suruh promote BF tapi dia sendiri suap anaknya susu bukan susunya…hakhakhak

    Comment by Fid | August 11, 2009 | Reply

  7. Most of my frens taknak continue dgn breastfeeding koz, takut breast jatuh, n susah kalau bergantung pd susu badan bila keje nnt. Lagi satu yg major problem, they dont have confidence in producing breast milk to their children…

    Comment by SueRosly | October 16, 2009 | Reply


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