"When a baby is fed on a schedule rather than in response to her cues, the food comes at an adult-determined "time for feeding," whether she is hungry or not. Instead of getting to experience hunger and then feeling the hunger satisfied as we respond to the myriad ways she subtly and not-so-subtly communicates with us, the experience can easily become one of disconnection from herself and the person feeding her. She is denied the ability to self-regulate and is placed in a passive role. There is ... no experience of exercising her will and getting an appropriate response." [View source ]
Kabat-Zinn, Myla and Jon, "Everyday Blessings: the Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, 1997, pg. 170
Breastfeeding in public
"When it comes to exposing my body, I fall squarely on the side of modesty. Showing a stranger my private parts is not my idea of a good time. Soon after I became a mother, however, I learned something new about myself. When my baby is hungry or needs comfort, I will do whatever it takes to get him what he needs.
My NIP (nursing in public) initiation happened when my baby was three days old. I was still trying to figure out breastfeeding, let alone doing it in public. There we were in the middle of the DMV, and my son started wailing as only a hungry newborn can. It was as if a switch was flipped, and an as-yet untapped instinct kicked in. That instinct clearly told me to feed my baby first and deal with how I felt about it later." go to Nursing Freedom
Breastfeeding practices in China
by Lua Wilkinson
"Among the Chinese breastfeeding support group, however, women and their children are accompanied by husbands, grandpas, grandmas, aunts, housekeepers, and other family members who’s relation I am never quite sure of. It is held at a hospital, is more lecture style, very formal, with a physician at the front discussing the benefits of breastfeeding. It includes Q&A, where family members ask questions regarding night feedings, going back to work, allergies and milk supply. Fathers, surprising to me, are active participants...." go to savageminds.org
Breastfeeding as a cross-cultural subject
Comparative studies addressing the impact of culture on breastfeeding mainly focused on the comparison of traditional African vs. urban Western (ie.. demand vs. scheduled) patterns of feeding. Although these studies substantially contributed to the understanding of the cultural context of infant development, they often gave the impression that infant care practices did not diverge in traditional non-Western societies. In Cameroon, for example, the sedentary Nso farmers and the nomadic Fulani pastorals share the same geographic region with the same environmental hazards and poor health conditions but differ in their economic systems and cultural values. Both groups breastfeed their babies until 2 years of age, thus ensuring nutritional benefits of breastmilk, but the ways of breastfeeding differ between the groups and reflect very different social values. Nso mothers were in tighter and constant body and eye contact with their babies, interacting with them while they fed, while the Fulani mothers showed minimal body contact, more distance and little affection for their babies while feeding. According to the authors, this was consistent with the different social behaviors expected of the adults in the group. [View source]
Yovsi, Relindis D. and Keller, Heidi, "Breastfeeding: An Adaptive Process," Ethos, Volume 31, Issue 2
Radio documentary on breastfeeding walking children
"Because of the potential for judgment about the basic merits of their parenting, many mothers keep quiet about the joys, frustrations, challenges, and struggles of nursing their kids past babyhood. This can lead to mothers feeling isolated and unsupported. It is this lack of support, in addition to the fear of public criticism that leads many mothers to wean before they and their children are ready. listen to the documentary
Breastfeeding in Chile and Syria
by Charity Curley Mathews
"Most moms breastfeed for six months, then voluntarily stop," says Carole in Chile. "My friends say that's enough." When she breastfed for a year, she remembers being misunderstood by other mothers, going on to say that breastfeeding for this long is considered something for poor or rural families, "definitely not upper class." On the opposite end of the spectrum -- and the globe -- Dima's Syrian doctor advised one year of breastfeeding, which she considered unacceptable. Her expectation was two years." see article
In Cameroon, only 16 percent of infants from zero to three months of age are exclusively breastfed. And this despite the fact that, especially its rural areas, millions of children die every year from malnutrition. Over 70 percent of infant deaths are caused by diseases that could be prevented with the improvement of early infant nutrition. [View source ]
From The State of the World's Children. 2001. New York: UNICEF, cited in Yovsi, Relindis D. and Keller, Heidi, "Breastfeeding: An Adaptive Process," Ethos, Volume 31, Issue 2, Article first published online: 3 JAN 2008
Some anthroposophical doctors have been heard to recommend limiting the time babies breastfeed to four months, a controversial and often misunderstood proposal within Waldorf school communities. However, Rise Smythe-Freed, a registered nurse and anthroposophical medicine nurse (a rare combination) offers a counter explanation of current anthroposophical recommendations on breastfeeding. She recommends breastfeeding one to two years. click here for interview via WaldorfwithoutWalls.com
In 2005 (figures published in 2008), The Office for National Statistics performed its Infant Feeding Survey (every 5 years, so new one should come be done this year), saying: Overall, only 35 per cent of UK babies are being exclusively breastfed at one week, 21 per cent at six weeks, 7 per cent at four months and 3 per cent at five months. [View source ]
From UNICEF and WHO's The Baby-Friendly Initiative, a worldwide programme established in 1992 to encourage maternity hospitals to implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and to practise in accordance with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.
From http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/page 21
"In the US, approximately 33 percent of infants born in 2006 were exclusively breastfed through 3 months of age, and 14 percent were exclusively breastfed for 6 months. This varies greatly by socio-economic factors and by geographic location." [View source ]
"CDC National Immunization Survey 2006. Breastfeeding Report Card, Data" http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/report_card.htm
Research in Japan on breastfeeding and maternal bonding
A mail survey of 869 mothers of healthy babies attempted to establish a statistical relationship between breastfeeding and maternal bonding in the hospital where the authors worked in (Japan).
Though the authors were limited by mail and by use of a questionnaire, they did find breastfeeding and maternal bonding with the baby higher in those who had a single baby (rather than twins) and those who had a cooperative partner. [View source ]
Kazuo Sato, Etsuko Sakai, Norio Kubo, "Breastfeeding and a Cooperative Partner Promote Maternal Bonding", abstract found in http://www.waimh.org/Files/Congress/2008/WAIMH2008CongressAbstractsEnglish.pdf
Breastfeeding in Austria
"Breastfeeding is strongly advocated in Austria and a great deal of support is available to mothers who are having difficulties. Compared to some countries, attitudes towards breastfeeding are very liberal and it is acceptable to discreetly breastfeed more or less anywhere in public. ... If you stay in the hospital after the birth (Wochenbett) there will be nurses and breastfeeding specialists to help you overcome any initial hurdles. Ideally, by the time you leave the hospital you will have breastfeeding well established and your milk will have come in. However, it is quite normal that it takes considerably longer before you and your baby get the hang of it. There is a wide range of breastfeeding groups (Stillgruppen) where breastfeeding mothers meet with a qualified breastfeeding/lactation consultant or midwife to discuss any issues or questions they may have. Alternatively, you can opt for one-to-one advice with a qualified lactation consultant or midwife." from the Vienna Babies Club
Beating the Booby Traps: some common reasons for not breastfeeding and their answers
by Kristen Marie Toutges
"Don’t plan on “trying” to breastfeed– plan to breastfeed. When we think of breastfeeding as a difficult thing to “try” at, instead of as the main normal, healthy way to nourish a child, we are already setting up mental barriers. Unless you are one of the rare women to have a diagnosed inability to produce breast milk, you can breastfeed. Similar to birth, if we believe that our bodies function well & can do what they are designed to do, we are less likely to reach for other options." go to this Mothering Magazine post
Having a glass of wine while breastfeeding?
"I knew from brief Internet searches that while there is "no safe amount" of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, the expert advice on drinking during breastfeeding ran the gamut. Some lactation specialists actually recommend alcohol to relax the mother and infant, while others think even one drop is too much. I'm no longer nursing, but let's see if I can find evidence to support my habits retroactively.
Let's put to rest one old wives' tale, that alcohol facilitates nursing. Multiple studies have found that alcohol actually reduces milk production. In one trial, women who drank a screwdriver produced on average one less fluid ounce compared to when they drank OJ alone. ("The transfer of alcohol to human milk.") So why do some women think alcohol improves breastfeeding? Well, when milk production goes down, infants suck for longer, creating the impression that they're eating more. Another, similar study done by the same authors found that 78% of women who consumed alcoholic beer noticed fullness in their breasts after nursing, making them think that they were producing a lot of milk, and lending empirical evidence to the existence of beer goggles." go to Evidence-Based Mommy
Rather than supporting breastfeeding, formula manufacturers convince mothers to use formula. Mixed with contaminated water, or mixed with more water than necessary to make an expensive can last longer, formula can make babies ill. [View source]
DeLoache, Judy and Gottlieb, Alma, A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pg.9