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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Laid-Off Dad's win-win-win pro-breastfeeding argument assumes that the biggest dilemma facing women post-partum is breast versus bottle. Sadly, there are economic and social reasons preventing women from nursing.

Many women have six weeks or less for maternity leave. And during weeks, mothers are likely focused on childcare options, not how they will get baby used to bottle and breast. The US and Australia are the only industrialized countries that don't have national paid-leave programs. And a lack of money and time affects choices.

Also, women don't have equal access to lactation support. When asked why they chose formula or switched to bottles so quickly, "nearly every reason, it turns out, can be traced to a lack of information, education and support, rather than a lack of desire." Finally, women are uncomfortable with their breasts. It might seem silly, but embarrassment is a powerful force.

Permalink | Breastfeeding | Comments (3)


I did daycare for a while after my daughter was born and I took care of a little girl that refused the bottle. The mother only breastfed up until she dropped the girl off on my doorstep. It was heartbreaking when I had to call the mother to tell her that her daughter wasn't eating. My suggestion would be that if you plan on sending your baby to daycare, introduce the bottle, even if its filled with breastmilk. Give the baby time to adapt to the new nipple and the new hold. Let others feed her with the bottle so baby can get used to others feeding her. Plan ahead for your situation.

Posted by: Goldberry | Dec 7, 2005 1:20:18 PM

If I hadn't been living in California when I had my daughter, I'm not sure I would have breastfed. No one in my family did, not even my cousins my age who were having kids. It didn't seem like an "East Coast" thing. But everyone knows how things are in California. ;^)

Anyway, it is a shame that information and support is not readily available. Giving borth in California, I had plenty of information and a lactation nurse at the hospital to help me get started. she would even have made house calls if I had needed her too!!

Posted by: Barbara | Dec 8, 2005 6:35:58 PM

Breastfeeding rates are in fact higher in Canada, where there is a one-year maternity leave (Federally funded and legislated).

Posted by: Shandra | Dec 10, 2005 2:19:56 PM

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