Extraordinary Breastfeeding on LifeStyle YOU follows the experiences of three women – from one mother who stopped breastfeeding at six months to another who is still breastfeeding her seven year-old daughter!
It’s pretty confronting stuff, but where do you stand on the issue of breastfeeding?
The World Health Organisation recommends babies be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months. But only around 18 per cent of Australian mothers are hitting this target.
According to the findings of an American study, boosting the percentage of infants who are breastfed for the first six months of life could actually save lives and dollars.
Lead author of the study, Melissa Bartick from Harvard Medical School, said the health benefits linked to breastfeeding had been ''vastly under-appreciated''.
The findings, published online in the journal Pediatrics, suggest breastfeeding may help prevent stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome and even childhood leukemia.
For some women though, breastfeeding for an extended length of time just isn’t an option. “I tried everything I could to get Erin to breastfeed,” says frustrated Mum, Elizabeth. “But she just wasn’t interested. I ended up with very sore and cracked nipples and I was worrying myself sick that she wasn’t getting enough to eat.”
Emma Sutherland, Naturopath, homeopath and women’s health specialist, http://www.healthequalsvitality.com.au, says she believes women need to be supported in all situations – whether they are able to breastfeed or not.
“The research is conclusive about the benefits of breastfeeding and many cultures around the world have a strong tradition of breastfeeding until their babies are toddlers,” she explains. “Some benefits to the breastfed baby are a higher IQ, a reduced incidence of illness and less chance of adult obesity.
“But some women simply can’t breastfeed and this is devastating for them. The expectation and pressure placed on these women is enormous and their ‘mother’s guilt’ can wreak havoc on their confidence as a new parent. Many others stop breastfeeding at six months because they return to work.”
Where can you get more info or advice? Visit, http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au.
What is your view on breastfeeding? Share your thoughts and stories here.
Check out Extraordinary Breastfeeding on LifeStyle YOU here
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