Dianne Kemp BA, RN
I start this article by saying that I support women who choose to breastfeed, but I also believe that every woman has a choice that should be honored.
I worked as a nurse in the Maternal Child field for 45 years. I always supported mother’s choice and am thrilled with the many options women have in childbirth and parenting. I was an internationally certified lactation consultant and helped many moms breastfeed.
Now, a few facts –
- Not everyone wants to breastfeed
- Women who have been sexually abused often have a difficult time with breastfeeding
- Women with breast implants can breastfeed
- Breast size does not matter
- Breastfeeding is the perfect food for an infant
- The international age of weaning is 4 years old
- Most moms in the United States stop breastfeeding by six months
- Babies cannot be allergic to breastmilk – only to something mom is eating
- Moms do not need to stop breastfeeding if baby is jaundiced
- Mom can drink alcohol while breastfeeding – alcohol metabolizes out of the breastmilk just as it does out of blood. If mom is not drunk, neither is her breastmilk
- A newborn can survive for the first 24 hours without eating (giving mom and baby time to recover from the birth)
- A newborn’s stomach is smaller than a golf ball – a 2 oz bottle of formula is way too much, that’s why the newborn often spits up
Now, why is breastfeeding not supported very well in the U.S.?
- Breastfed babies are far healthier that formula fed babies
- Breastfeeding has many health benefits for the mom
- Being healthier they require less healthcare – less money for physician, hospitals, etc.
- Formula is a big business
- Formula companies fight for the WIC contract – big money that the government pays
There are many other reasons but that says it all.
I always told moms who were thinking about breastfeeding but were unsure to just try it once or twice. If it does not feel right – stop. No shame.
If a mom said she was not going to breastfeed, I did not try to change her mind. It is her personal decision and I respect that.
And one of the funniest answers I got when I asked the question “Are you planning to breastfeed or formula feed?”. The dad answered, “She is going to formula feed, those are mine”. I had to hold my tongue and walk away.
For more on the subject please visit my Facebook group called “The Baby Whisperer” with over 600 members (international) where moms talk about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting and I answer questions/concerns.
Dianne Kemp was born in Detroit and moved to Lexington at age 9. She received her Associate Degree in Nursing Science in 1972 from SC4, and a Bachelors in Healthcare Psychology from Graceland College (Iowa) in 1996.
Dianne’s career developed from her love of babies. She was a Maternal Child nurse for 45 years – developing and teaching childbirth and parenting education classes, working as an RN in Mother Baby Care and was the first lactation consultant in the county. She is now volunteering as a chaplain at River District Hospital since losing her vision in her left eye due to a retinal detachment in 2010.
Dianne is the proud mother of three children (one who was disabled and passed away in 2007) and two grandchildren.
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