Breastfeeding is the most
important thing that only you can do to give your baby the best
possible start. In a society where everyone breastfed their children,
women would learn about breastfeeding from their mothers, aunts,
and friends. Unfortunately, the United States is a bottle-feeding
culture. We now have generations of mothers who have largely lost
this womanly knowledge. Our society has sexualized breasts to such
a point that many women feel very unnatural when they feed their
children the way nature intended. Artificial baby milk companies
bombard women, their doctors, everyone for that matter, with advertisements.
“Free” breastfeeding substitutes arrive on a mother's doorstep right
around her due date. Is it any wonder that breastfeeding rates are
Well, there is good news.
Breastfeeding rates are on the increase and the benefits of breastfeeding
are becoming better well known. We've gathered a collection of links
that can help you get the information and support you need to get
breastfeeding off to a good start.
If breastfeeding is “Nature's
Way” to feed babies, then why do so many women have difficulties?
Well, if everyone breastfed and you grew up seeing the important
women in your life breastfeed their children, then breastfeeding
would be much easier for you. Unfortunately, we have lost this womanly
wisdom. Today's woman often has never seen a baby breastfeed – at
least not up close.
So, how do you learn how
to breastfeed successfully? Read as much as possible about breastfeeding
while you're pregnant, become a member of La Leche League and attend
meetings during your pregnancy, and turn a deaf ear to the advice
from anyone who has not successfully breastfed a baby (or fathered
a breastfed baby).
Do not read the breastfeeding
information put out by the artificial infant milk companies. They
have a vested interest in your breastfeeding failure. You might
ask, “why do the formula companies put out breastfeeding information
anyway?” You may think they have good intentions, but look a little
closer. Women who choose to breastfeed, and then end up switching
to artificial milk, tend to feed their babies artificial milk longer
than women who start off with the fake stuff. Also, the breastfeeding
information that the artificial infant milk companies put out usually
focuses on breastfeeding difficulties. They focus on cracked nipples
and engorgement, rather than on the myriad of health and emotional
benefits breastfeeding provides. They fail to tell you that there
has never been a study that has proven “infant formula” to be superior
to straight cow's milk for babies.
Here are some links to get
you started as you inform yourself about breastfeeding. You can
do this! Breast milk is every baby's birthright.
Sears on Breastfeeding
by Nutrient: Why Breast is Best
of Mother's Milk)
Academy of Pediatrics 1997 Statement on Breastfeeding and the
Use of Human Milk
AAP Statement on Breastfeeding (PDF)
Jack Newman's Articles
Newman's breastfeeding handouts