ABC news recently wrote an article about how hospitals are not giving enough breastfeeding support. If you’ve ever breastfed, even if just for one day, I’d like to know your experiences.
I think it’s very important for all readers to note that hospitals vary WIDELY across the country, and not to think that your hospital experience is exactly the same or even anywhere close to someone else’s. Even within the same hospital, your experience will vary based on who the nurses are on rotation and who your OB is. That being said, I’m curious…
- How would you rate your hospital’s ability to help facilitate breastfeeding successfully?
- Were you aware in the hospital that it was normal for your baby to take just a little longer to figure out how to latch if you had an epidural and not to give up?
- Were you aware that it was normal for your milk not to come in for 3-5 days, and the little bit of colostrum your baby got with each feed would be enough by itself?
- Did they tell you a pacifier SOMETIMES interferes with breastfeeding or makes a baby content to skip an early feeding that helps your milk come in, and ask if you wanted to use it or skip it?
- Do you think your baby was given formula or sugar water for medically unnecessary reasons?
- Did they let you know it was perfectly normal to have trouble latching once you got home after your milk came in? And did they give you contact information for how you could get help if problems came up?
- Did they warn you of the most common obstacles moms face when first breastfeeding and how to avoid or overcome them?
- If you were given antibiotics during labor (very common for Group B strep mothers), were you told that this also greatly increases you and your babies risk of getting thrush, and given ways to help avoid thrush or deal with it quickly before it gets out of hand?
- Is there anything else your hospital experience included that helped make breastfeeding successful or helped lead to you ultimately choosing to formula feed?
WIC spends a lot of money and time educating low income mothers on breastfeeding. I really wonder how much more success they would have if they spent more time and money advocating for low income mothers by educating OBGYN’s and hospitals.
Sadly many OB’s know very little about how the labor and delivery may have an impact on the baby’s ability to latch. They don’t stop to inform their patients of the pros and cons of different birth control choices as they relate to milk supply. Many hospital nurses act like it is perfectly normal for both the formula fed and breastfed babies to go the same amount of time between feedings, even though the formula fed ones are given a larger amount of food during those first few feedings, and it’s a food that’s harder to digest, so it stays in their tummies longer.
What’s your experience? Did your hospital give you ample support in attempting to breastfeed?