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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 so low?

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.

Dr. Sears on Breastfeeding  
Nutrient by Nutrient: Why Breast is Best  
Breastfeeding.com  
ProMoM (Promotion of Mother's Milk)  
American Academy of Pediatrics 1997 Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk

Revised AAP Statement on Breastfeeding (PDF)
Dr. Jack Newman's Articles 
Dr. Newman's breastfeeding handouts  


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