Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Encouraging breast feeding

Daniel celebrating his 2nd birthday early. Love those curls!

Hospital practices are being blamed for the low rates of breast feedings a recent study concluded reported in the WSJ today. Only 15% of women exclusively breast feed their child in the US for the first 6 months i.e. no formula. 75% of women try to breastfeed initially but  many abandon it in the first 2 weeks due to 'low milk supply'. How can these on the average over nourished moms have so much trouble producing milk?
The states that have the highest breastfeeding rates; Vermont, Oregon, and Utah just happen to have the higher education rates compared to the lowest breast feeding states: Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. (63.2% versus 18.2%). Overall at 6 months, only 44% of babies are being breast fed at all and at a year; 23%. The public health social worker said that Naomi was the only breast feeding mom among her clients. At 13 months, Maya isn't ready to give it up.
Pictured above is the very healthy and large Daniel. He was born before his lungs had a chance to fully mature plus a difficult C-section delivery put additional stress on him. Shanna did not get to bond with him for 8 long hours while he was in a special care nursery. There were no early moments on the breast needed to start the milk supply. Fortunately he was not a first child. Shanna was an experienced and dedicated nurser and immediately started pumping milk. He could not nurse and breathe at the same time so he was tube fed.Shanna produced so much milk (she went home before Daniel could leave the special care nursery) that she was asked to slow it down as she was filling all the space with her pumpings. Still Daniel started to lose weight because they decided to cut back his feedings to 3/day (!!!?!) and then accused Shanna of not having rich enough milk. A full term newborn might nurse 10 times a day; it would stand to reason that a preemie would nurse more. Fortunately Shanna was not derailed by this and Daniel thrived at home.
Even Oliver, who was fullterm and healthy lost too much weight as her milk was coming in and they were about to put him on formula over Shanna's strong objections. Once the kid has formula, the supply goes down and the baby needs more formula. Soon the milk supply is 'inadequate.' Clearly better education is needed.

My internet and phone were out all morning. The repairman spent more than an hour fixing things and 5 minutes after he left, it went out again. Argh! He came back. So far so good.

Strong storms went through last night. Another sleepless night between bad dreams, listening to the constant gurgling of the sump pump and car alarms set off by the high winds. The mosquitoes are out in full force so I can not enjoy my patio.

Don'tae's cousin just won a national slam dunk competition this week between college recruits. He and Naomi are skilled bballers themselves...Maya should be a good athlete. Still no words leave her lips but she has a whole slew of hand signals that she uses on command.

1 comment:

Teri Bernstein said...

Breastfeeding is so much more convenient! I don't get why it is so unpopular...


Blog Archive