Many new mothers' decide to try to breastfeed, equally, many decide to formula feed from day one. The evidence is clear that breastfeeding is by far the best choice for an infant, however, the support for breastfeeding mothers is sadly lacking in today's NHS.
A recent article on the BBC News site by UNICEF suggested that the NHS could save up to £40m by encouraging mothers to breastfeed. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19992410) which is an enormous amount of money.
'The charity says a moderate increase would reduce the number of women who get breast cancer and also cut gastroenteritis and respiratory problems in babies.'
Amazing isn't it?
There are a number of charities in the UK which support breastfeeding, and are on hand to help mothers should they need help with latch, confidence, knowledge etc. These include La Leche League, NCT and many Flying Start initiatives. Having using the La Leche League myself when trying to get a diagnosis of tongue tie for my son, I am confident they are helping many mothers across the UK to continue breastfeeding.
My Health Visitor, on the other hand, is sadly misinformed.
My son, Samuel, has been slow to gain weight. The immediate response from my Health Visitor is to switch him to formula. There was no support offered other than to offer him a different source of milk and that would, miraculously, solve our problem.
Luckily, I did not follow her 'advice' and sought further medical help.
Samuel has now been diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance, which means I have had to cut dairy out of my diet. Had I switched to formula he would have lost weight and been much more poorly, much more quickly. Mum knows best right? Sadly, medical professionals will not accept that mum knows best and still insist on doing these things 'by the book' until we go round in circles, waste countless weeks, and eventually end up at the very point mum suggested. More wasted money...
Some things you may not know about breastfeeding:
- More recently, breast milk has been found to kill cancer cells (http://www.naturalnews.com/028662_breast_milk_cancer.html) - they don't call it 'liquid gold' for nothing.
- Breast milk can be bought from milk banks to be given to premature babies. The milk has essential immune cells to help babies ward off infection (http://www.preemie-l.org/bfaq.html)
- Breast milk is tailored to your individual baby's needs (http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2010/07/22/keeping-your-breast-milk-healthy/)
On that note I mus go and feed my son. More soon!