I just found the most amazing web site, called Best for Babes: Giving Breastfeeding a Makeover. What I love about this site is that the authors candidly talk about all of the ways in which women are sabotaged into failing at breastfeeding. The authors, Bettina Forbes and Danielle Rigg, don't point fingers at moms and shame them into guilt, like so many web sites and articles do. Instead, they explain the barriers and lack of support moms receive, which is so much more productive and accurate. For example, why is breastfeeding viewed to be so difficult now? Why are women constantly worried about milk supply? Why are healthy babies given bottles of formula in the hospital for no medical reason? These "booby traps", as the authors cleverly call them, are what cause moms to lose self-confidence, doubt their intuition, and eventually give up feeding their babies the best nutrient possible....breastmilk.
So how does a mom overcome these "booby traps?"
- Become aware of the cultural and institutional "booby traps" and learn how to avoid them.
- Assemble, what the authors term, your A-Team - breastfeeding-supportive OBGYN/Midwife, pediatrician, Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Hospital/Birth Center.
- Prepare yourself - Create a birth plan that is conducive to breastfeeding, practice skin-to-skin once the baby is born, plan to feed on demand, know who to ask for help.
- Find your local and cyberspace resources - Have a list of breastfeeding support groups, lactation consultant referrals, and non-sabotaging web sites that can offer assistance and support, without the "booby traps."
- Check out all of the other articles and blog entries on Best for Babes.
The only way we, as women, will be able to overcome the institutional, cultural, and familial obstacles to breastfeeding is by supporting one another and educating those who sabotage our goals. Rock on, Best for Babes! I am so happy you exist!