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Nurses are important to Breastfeeding success

Posted

Specializes in Lactation.

http://www.nursingoutlook.org/article/S0029-6554(11)00083-2/fulltext

The lack of breastfeeding in the United States is a public health crisis. The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and multiple other professional organizations all recommend that infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months; in the United States, however, only 13.6% of infants receive exclusive human milk for this time period.

Edited by TheCommuter
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merlee

Has 36 years experience.

The American way of life does not support breastfeeding - few women get a paid maternity leave, and many women are back at work far more quickly then their counterparts anywhere in the world.

I felt fortunate to be able to take off 10 weeks with each of my children; 10 weeks that they were 'exclusively' breast-fed. After that, they were given formula for most of their little lives! It's not that I wanted to stop, but there were few options.

I would encourage all women to breast-feed as long as feasibly possible.

JRP1120, RN

Has 1 years experience.

I am a full supporter of breastfeeding as long as possible too (I BF all of my children, longest was for 7 months). I wish our country embraced it more than it does and it wasn't such a "taboo" subject. I'm all for education and love to teach new moms about BF...I see that in my future somewhere too! :)

There is soooo much equipment out there now that makes it easy to pump for moms who go back to work. Hands-free pumping bra's, pumps so small they clip to your belt, all sorts of flange adaptors for comfort, discrete milk cooler bags, and car battery adaptors. Sure its a lot of $$ but compared to the price of formula it relatively inexpensive. Plus this past year bf supplies were made tax deductible so at least you get a break on that, and if someone gets WIC they can usually get a free pump.

Education is so important because to a new mom breastfeeding can seem daunting and the thought of returning to work while still doing it impossible. But with the right support I think a lot more moms and especially working moms can keep doing it beyond the AAP's 6 month recommendation and maybe make it closer to the WHO's 2 year recommendation.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Good points, all.

I think part of the issue is employers who aren't exactly friendly to the thought of someone taking pump breaks. I know the first place I worked at after I had my son tolerated my leaving to go pump, but they weren't exactly supportive. Strike that. My immediate coworkers were very supportive and covered for me, but the higher-ups merely tolerated it because they knew they legally had to. They weren't crazy about it. And this was a healthcare setting! Where I work now, people are more willing to cover you to go pump than they are for you to go eat!

If it was that hard for me in a healthcare setting, I can imagine what it's like for someone who works in a small office setting with minimal privacy and/or coworkers who might not be sympathetic to her needs to pump. Or someone working the line at McDonald's. I can't imagine that Mickey D's has clean places for pumping moms. I hope I'm wrong. (ETA - that's just an example and I'm not trying to single out McDonald's as a bad place to work.)

Even so, it's a good thing if nurses help moms breastfeed their babies for as long as they want to and/or reasonably can. Six weeks is better than four weeks, and one week, one day is better than nothing. I wish there were more visible community support for it. (It's there, but it's not very visible!)

There is soooo much equipment out there now that makes it easy to pump for moms who go back to work. Hands-free pumping bra's, pumps so small they clip to your belt, all sorts of flange adaptors for comfort, discrete milk cooler bags, and car battery adaptors. Sure its a lot of $$ but compared to the price of formula it relatively inexpensive. Plus this past year bf supplies were made tax deductible so at least you get a break on that, and if someone gets WIC they can usually get a free pump.

Education is so important because to a new mom breastfeeding can seem daunting and the thought of returning to work while still doing it impossible. But with the right support I think a lot more moms and especially working moms can keep doing it beyond the AAP's 6 month recommendation and maybe make it closer to the WHO's 2 year recommendation.

That is the key; the RIGHT support. Some women are getting no support when it comes to breastfeeding. The best support I received was from the hospital lactation consultant (a God-send!) But when I got home my husband wants to TALK about I should breastfeed, but as long as breastfeeding doesn't stop me from fixing his lunch or interrupt anything he thinks I should be doing. It is hard for some women to continue breastfeeding when there are other small children in the house who need care and a husband practically standing over you with a stopwatch while you are trying to get a fussy newborn to latch on.

You are exactly right, "the right support". Breastfeeding has been done for centuries by women who make food from scratch, mend their own clothes, make candles, churn butter, etc. I'm not saying that an uncooperative husband is not a valid barrier to breastfeeding. But baby is going to require time away from all these activies whether you breastfeed or formula feed. The amount and types of barriers are endless.

To me this article implies that nurses are key in instilling the importance of breastfeeding to new moms and educating them on the support out there. Unfortunately that support may not come from a partner, even though the article recommends educating spouses and grandmothers, not all relatives are going to understand or support it. In case of a single mom for instance, where a spouses support is not even an option , she needs to know that about the lactation consulant at her pediatricians office, or given a list of private consultants who comes to your home. She can also find friendly support at a LLL meeting group or a local playgroup.

Breastfeeding IS hard in our society but this article is suggesting that nurses be the problem solvers who help moms overcome barriers.

JROregon, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion. Has 5 years experience.

Always loved when my husbands step-dad would keep asking whether I would be giving my 1st baby formula "to grow him up real big and strong". I was able to get through more than a year of breastfeeding with both kids but also had the luxury of being a full-time mom. As a nurse, I think it's important to find out the reason a mom chooses not to breastfeed or decides to supplement with formula early on. There are some serious misconceptions out there.

NickiLaughs, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma, Critical Care. Has 12 years experience.

Breast feeding is great for those who can manage. My personal experience was when they were teaching me how to breast feed they viewed me as incompetent. My biggest issue was they kept saying feed on demand, if hes hungry feed him. This resulted in me breast feeding every 1/2 hour to hour. Not to mention, I never was eating or drinking like I was supposed to because I wasn't given the chance.

I will admit that their pushiness and lack of giving me a variety of options, I gave up at 6 weeks. That boy could not be satisfied. He's a hulk now! 10 months old, over 31 inches tall, and 25 lbs.

While I condone breastfeeding, I really think lactation consultants, at least the ones I encountered, should be a bit more open minded for all their pushiness. I call them the milk nazis now.

oklahomagal

Specializes in Lactation.

breast feeding is great for those who can manage. my personal experience was when they were teaching me how to breast feed they viewed me as incompetent. my biggest issue was they kept saying feed on demand, if hes hungry feed him. this resulted in me breast feeding every 1/2 hour to hour. not to mention, i never was eating or drinking like i was supposed to because i wasn't given the chance.

i will admit that their pushiness and lack of giving me a variety of options, i gave up at 6 weeks. that boy could not be satisfied. he's a hulk now! 10 months old, over 31 inches tall, and 25 lbs.

while i condone breastfeeding, i really think lactation consultants, at least the ones i encountered, should be a bit more open minded for all their pushiness. i call them the milk nazis now.

it's unfortunate that you have decided to label lactation consultants as milk nazis. did you know that 95 percent of all women that give up breastfeeding do so because of a perceived lack of milk supply? also many moms don't recognize the normal behavior of a nursing baby and that behavior alone leads them to believe that they don't have enough milk. i hate to go on and sound like i am singling you out, but this is where its important for nurses to have knowledge in the realm of breastfeeding. a baby nursing very frequently can be the result of a few things. it could be a growth spurt, a mom with a small milk storage capacity, or a low milk supply. without the proper knowledge to support moms or at least the knowledge of who to send them to we are doing a disservice to our moms.

i am very glad that you gave breastfeeding a shot, and i am very sorry that it didn't work out for you and your family. you did more than a lot of moms even try to do, you should be proud j

"That is the key; the RIGHT support. Some women are getting no support when it comes to breastfeeding. The best support I received was from the hospital lactation consultant (a God-send!) But when I got home my husband wants to TALK about I should breastfeed, but as long as breastfeeding doesn't stop me from fixing his lunch or interrupt anything he thinks I should be doing. It is hard for some women to continue breastfeeding when there are other small children in the house who need care and a husband practically standing over you with a stopwatch while you are trying to get a fussy newborn to latch on. "

Girl you need to give that man a kick in the pants! I can just see my husband trying that with me HA lol! A he's a very muscular scary looking man and people usually steer clear of him. But he is my big fuzzy teddy bear who sometimes tries to throw his weight around but he has learned the hard way not to come between a momma bear and her cubs!

tntrn, ASN, RN

Specializes in L & D; Postpartum. Has 34 years experience.

I have met young moms when I first enter their rooms who are in tears, because the nurse ahead of me, gave them the lecture about Breastfeeding and being a good mom. Really? You can be a good mom without breastfeeding.

If a mom chooses to not breastfeed, we must give them just as much support and teaching as the breastfeeding moms. Sadly, I don't think that always happens.

anurseatlast

Specializes in maternal child, public/community health. Has 4 years experience.

One of the great joys of my job is being able to help teen moms be successful in breastfeeding. (I only work with teens.) If I can start to see them during the pregnancy and provide information about breastfeeding, it makes it easier for all involved. I am fortunate that I can see them as often as they need and have a LC coworker who can help them if needed. With proper support, breastfeeding can be impowering for any mom. Teen moms especially need to feel validated as a mom. Many moms need help with early breastfeeding (in part because they often have never actually seen a woman breastfed. Heaven forbid that we see breasts being used for their intended purpose!). Moms who experience problems and do not have someone who can help them get frustrated and feel inadequate. If we hope to improve breastfeeding intiation and duration, women need easily accessible help so they can be successful. As more women are successful, they will encourage their friends that they too can breastfeed.

I also agree that we as a society need to be more supportive of breastfeeding women. In our city, teen moms have to go back to school within 2 weeks of giving birth - even if they have a c-section. Many women feel forced to go back to work sooner than they would like and women in low paying jobs often fear losing their jobs if they don't return to work soon after birth. For many, it is the economic reality that they can't pay the rent if they don't get back quickly. We have a lot of work to do before most women will see breastfeeding as something they can do.

it's unfortunate that you have decided to label lactation consultants as milk nazis. did you know that 95 percent of all women that give up breastfeeding do so because of a perceived lack of milk supply? also many moms don't recognize the normal behavior of a nursing baby and that behavior alone leads them to believe that they don't have enough milk. i hate to go on and sound like i am singling you out, but this is where its important for nurses to have knowledge in the realm of breastfeeding. a baby nursing very frequently can be the result of a few things. it could be a growth spurt, a mom with a small milk storage capacity, or a low milk supply. without the proper knowledge to support moms or at least the knowledge of who to send them to we are doing a disservice to our moms.

i am very glad that you gave breastfeeding a shot, and i am very sorry that it didn't work out for you and your family. you did more than a lot of moms even try to do, you should be proud j

i found that by my hospital's routine, sometimes i wasn't given enough time to latch on my newborn and have him/her to get enough milk. or sometimes my child was getting foremilk instead of the more satisfying hindmilk that contains most of the fat.

i also noticed that when i received pain meds or induction during my labor breastfeeding didn't go as well or as long, even though i was always allowed to breastfeed right after the child was born. the longest i breastfed was 7 months.

"That is the key; the RIGHT support. Some women are getting no support when it comes to breastfeeding. The best support I received was from the hospital lactation consultant (a God-send!) But when I got home my husband wants to TALK about I should breastfeed, but as long as breastfeeding doesn't stop me from fixing his lunch or interrupt anything he thinks I should be doing. It is hard for some women to continue breastfeeding when there are other small children in the house who need care and a husband practically standing over you with a stopwatch while you are trying to get a fussy newborn to latch on. "

Girl you need to give that man a kick in the pants! I can just see my husband trying that with me HA lol! A he's a very muscular scary looking man and people usually steer clear of him. But he is my big fuzzy teddy bear who sometimes tries to throw his weight around but he has learned the hard way not to come between a momma bear and her cubs!

Trust me, I am about FED UP!:devil::devil::devil::devil:

Sorry OP, didn't mean to change the subject.

sugarbee

Specializes in Answering phones and studying. ;-).

One of the great joys of my job is being able to help teen moms be successful in breastfeeding. (I only work with teens.) If I can start to see them during the pregnancy and provide information about breastfeeding, it makes it easier for all involved. I am fortunate that I can see them as often as they need and have a LC coworker who can help them if needed. With proper support, breastfeeding can be impowering for any mom. Teen moms especially need to feel validated as a mom. Many moms need help with early breastfeeding (in part because they often have never actually seen a woman breastfed. Heaven forbid that we see breasts being used for their intended purpose!). Moms who experience problems and do not have someone who can help them get frustrated and feel inadequate. If we hope to improve breastfeeding intiation and duration, women need easily accessible help so they can be successful. As more women are successful, they will encourage their friends that they too can breastfeed.

I also agree that we as a society need to be more supportive of breastfeeding women. In our city, teen moms have to go back to school within 2 weeks of giving birth - even if they have a c-section. Many women feel forced to go back to work sooner than they would like and women in low paying jobs often fear losing their jobs if they don't return to work soon after birth. For many, it is the economic reality that they can't pay the rent if they don't get back quickly. We have a lot of work to do before most women will see breastfeeding as something they can do.

A,

This resonates with me more than you can believe. As a teen mom my pregnancy and delivery were rushed, and I felt unheard throughout the whole process.

I've always wanted to be apart of what you are successfully doing, but I've feared how it would work. My goal is to give all women a voice in their pregnancies, regardless of how unconventional it may be. As uncomfortable as it is to witness a child becoming a mother, we need to remember that she is a future parent and a woman in her own right.

I wish I knew a woman like you when I was going through that phase of my life.

Thank you,

S

msn10

Specializes in cardiac, ICU, education. Has 18 years experience.

I have met young moms when I first enter their rooms who are in tears, because the nurse ahead of me, gave them the lecture about Breastfeeding and being a good mom. Really? You can be a good mom without breastfeeding.

Thank you!!! That is exactly what happened to me. The lactation 'consultant' (I use that word loosely) was a big bully. I had 6 weeks off and asked her how hard it would be for the baby to switch to formula? I worked 12 hour shifts on a cardiac ICU and pumping wasn't always an option.

Well my God, you'd think I just asked her how to sell my child into slavery. She went nuts saying that formula was 'detrimental' to development and "as a nurse you should know better than to use formula instead of breast milk at least for the first 6 months."

Maybe it was the hormones, because I am almost never rude but I asked her if she was breast-fed and she said "no." I said "Okay, thanks for the warning, you have proved your point."

eriksoln, BSN, RN

Specializes in M/S, Travel Nursing, Pulmonary. Has 15 years experience.

U R probably wondering "OMG, why is he in here posting? Sigh, what joke is he going to make?". Clicked on the link because:

I have a friend from school who belongs to a group of nurses who support breast feeding mothers. Pt. teaching is done, phone numbers handed out for questions and access to good equipment at a reduced price (they aren't selling stuff, more like giving away coupons) is shared among the group. Its.........a support group, with the nurses volunteering their time.

Just wanted to share.