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Thread: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

  1. #1
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    Default CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    Just read an article today on CNN.com, titled "Is the medical community failing breast-feeding moms?"

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/03/health...ml?hpt=hp_bn12

    I don't agree with everything here, but I think there is some good info about how lactation falls through the cracks of the western medical system in ways I hadn't realized (that it's so poorly covered in medical education/training, not billable through insurance, and falls into a bermuda triangle between specialty fields).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    That was a really interesting read. Thanks for posting the link!

    Just from my own experience, it's true that doctors seem reluctant to take on breastfeeding issues. As my OB told me at my 6 week f/u when I thought I might have thrush, 'no one is going to examine your breasts while you're breastfeeding, they're constantly changing'. And my family doctor told me that the deep breast pain I was having at 4 weeks was 'just milk filling up in the ducts'. While it's great that education about breastfeeding is starting to happen in medical school, hopefully the issues find their way into the more mainstream journals that family doctors and OB/GYNs are probably reading.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    I really take issue with the part that said, "And if we're going to remove formula samples for women to promote breast-feeding, we better come up with a plan to feed the babies of that 5% of women who can't sustain them -- with 4 million births a year, that's 200,000 moms who need extra help." The ban would be on the routine provision of formula, but wouldn't impact babies who need it (or donor milk) for health reasons or moms who simply request it. There's a big difference between giving formula by request only and "not having a plan" for feeding 5% of babies.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    5%? That's a big difference from the figure I've seen quoted elsewhere, which is 1%.

    Not a bad article, over all. But it irks me how it glosses over the fact that almost all women can nurse, and when breastfeeding derails, most of the time it's bad breastfeeding management (bad medical advice, not nursing often enough, scheduling, unnecessary supplementing, etc.) that's to blame, not a physical problem with the mom.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    That was my qualm with the article as well. I find this a lot actually when I read things about breastfeeding in the mainstream literature. There seem to be two approaches, often presented as if they are in opposition to each other: one is that most women who think they can't breastfeed really can but just aren't offered adequate supports; the other is that some women really can't and formula is okay. In reality I think these are both true but as a society we don't have an accurate grasp on what constitutes a diagnosis that is truly a barrier to lactation (and how widespread are they), vs. breastfeeding getting derailed when encountering common and solvable challenges. 5% seems too high to me as well. But just for the sake of argument let's accept that estimate and say that 95% of mothers are physically capable of nursing their babies ... then we should have enough donor milk to take care of the rest!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    Interesting read, thank you for sharing.

    When I read the headline is the medical community failing BF moms somethign else actually was in my mind, and whilst I agree that new mothers recieve inadequate support by the medical profession in general, and many either give up due to lack of support or bad advice, and it is appaling how little is known on the anatomy of bf (which reminds me of how little is known of the workings of female genitalia), I think there is also another huge area where the medical profession massively fails the bf women. in my mind it is just as big an issue and contributes to so many women quitting bf after often only a short while and very often at or before 6 months. What I am talking about is that if you bf beyond 6 months or god forbid a year or even 2 years and become ill let's say with the flu (or any other illness, something not necessarily related to bf) the pressure is on to quit bf.
    It is worse if the issue is related to bf (like I had exczema on my areola for example when my son was 2). The first doctor I saw refused to treat me until I had weaned (it iwll clear once you have weaned). The second one prescribed an ointment I was supposed to keep on the eczema for 8 hours and then wash off at least 1 hour before bf (not logical but so were his instructions). He could not comprehend when I told him this was not in the least compatible with feeding on demand (something he had never heard of, he was of the every 4 hours only school). his conclusion was that in that case weaning is the best option as it is anyway unecessary to bf a 2year old.

    A third doctor was more helpful and was able to select an ointment which was not so complicated in usage but even she was mildly critical of a mother bf a 2-year old. The person who finally helped my was my pediatrician, she looked at my breasts and made a prescription which was safe also for my 2-year old.

    In the last four years I had numerous colds and flus, ear inflammations and what not. Until my son was about 1 year it was no problem to let the docotr know treatment needed to be compatible with bf. But from the time he was about 18 months it became a problem and when he was 2, i took upself medication (something i actually dislike and think unsafe) because i so hated thos stupid comments about how it was time to wean.
    One of my biggest disappointments was in fact a holistic doctor and homeopath, I thought this would be great and compatible with bf. No, on the contrary i was told my illness is due to the fact i still bf as weaning should take place around 10 months.

    So I supposed what I am ranting about here is the fact that GPs and OBs are so vastly uniformed about bf longer than 6 months that they lack the knowledge about how to treat bf women.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: CNN Article: "Is the medical community failing BF moms"

    Shouldn't the article be titled 'is the medical community failing ALL mothers and babies and ALL the adults babies grow up to be?" Because that is what is really happening, isn't it. Ignorance about normal infant feeding is failing the health needs of everyone.

    I am convinced they have to stick that garbage in there about 'ooo, don't get rid of formula, 200,000 babies will die if you do' because the formula companies and their legion of online supporters go ballistic every time any remotely pro-breastfeeding article is published.

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