1. I LOVE this article!! I totally agree. They automatically tell you in the hospital that it’s okay to supliment! What?? No, it’s not okay! Not at first anyway, not if you want a good strong milk supply and a baby that’s a strong nurser!! I Breastfed all eight of my kiddos, never purchased a can of formula. The formula from the hospital, I either refused or donated! My mother-in-law used to say (ya all 8 times) …the only problem with breastfeeding is I cannot help. And how come bottle fed babies never eat in the bathroom! They have to say “breastfeeding is best,” on formula commercials, for a reason!! I am a new follower.


  2. Great round up of all the recent posts on the topic!

  3. As you know I don’t have kids but it makes me so sad to see things being made so hard for women who want to breast feed and how we don’t encourage it.

    Another great post Amy!

  4. I’ve been loving the various posts recently on this topic. I managed to breastfeed all 3 of my kids, and the youngest hasn’t weaned yet at 20 months old. It just amazes me how many challenges there can be to successful breastfeeding.

  5. I think a huge part of the equation is the lack of maternity leave over 6 weeks. How are we to expect women to nurse, recover from birth (over 40% of them with a c section), and adjust to having a baby and then send them back to work in as little as 6 weeks? Why does almost every other country in the world allow for at least 6 months of maternity leave. I have suggested this on other pro bfing sites and I was met with a huge amount of angry responses about women using the system. I am from Canada and we are allowed a year long maternity leave..There are provisions in place to make sure the system is not abused, and it works well for everyone and has been proven to be best for the child and the mother. Our return to work rate is extremely high and I know many women who probably would have had a much more successful BF relationship if they had been allowed a longer maternity/parental leave.

    I think it’s sad that this solution is so overlooked and it’s so obvious this is a huge reason why (working) women fail at bfing.

  6. Totally agree with you, my friend was given formula as soon as she had given birth, the nurse just made it up for her, didn’t even give her the option to breastfeed.. as my mum always says breastfeeding is best, even when she had her third and went back to work at 6 weeks she went over at her lunch break to breastfeed and express more milk..

  7. Excellent post!

  8. I just want to say that the pediatricians themselves are not the booby trap. The problem is that medical schools and residency training programs do not teach anything about breastfeeding. I am a pediatrician AND a breastfeeding mom of twins. I knew so little about BF until I did it myself, and then I realized how many people I gave bad advice to. The only way to change this is to advocate for better lactation education.

    I also wholeheartedly agree we need to lobby for better maternity leave. I struggled to pump enough for my twins and sadly had to supplement because I went back to work at 8 weeks because I had no other way to support my family. Luckily I kept going and I am still nursing my 15 month olds, but I wish I could have done it differently.

  9. Great post, Amy, this is a REALLY important topic to address!!

    There are SO many “Booby Traps” it is no surprise only 13% of mothers reach the ‘minimum’ recommendation of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Although there are definitely certain cicrumstances and conditions that make it extremely difficult or impossible for some moms to breastfeed their newborns, most moms who wind up stopping invariably are left to feel discouraged, guilty or even upset at breastfeeding moms, when in fact they were just innocent victims of one (or many) of the ‘booby traps’.

    I know this to be true because my wife Shari and I have taught thousands of clients how to successfully breastfeed, our success rate is multiples of the national average, we’re in NJ so MANY moms have C-sections and go back to work & successfully breastfeed…AND most of the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time moms who struggled or quit with their previous attempts to breastfeed realize in our class this time the exact “booby trap(s)” that tripped them up and left them incorrectly believing (fill in the blank…”the Hospital staff gave me really bad information/demanded I supplement formula within the 1st 24 hours/destroyed my confidence and handed me a bag filled with formula samples ‘just in case!'”…”I was unable to produce enough milk”…”I was unable to breastfeed without pain”…”my baby had nipple confusion and rejected the bottle”…”I received so much conflicting advice from my Doctor, the nurses, my family and my friends”…”I got a breast infection and I was told I had to stop breastfeeding”…”I had to stop breastfeeding because I had to go back to work and didn’t know what to do”, etc, etc, etc).

    @Shana you nailed it on the head, in addition to being a leading breastfeeding expert and educator, Shari is a certified nurse midwife, who like you, until she had our 1st daughter received NO formal education on how to teach new parents HOW TO breastfeed, and like you wound up giving out the same incorrect passed-on (like a bad game of telephone) information from other professional NON-breastfeeding expert to another. It was when she struggled miserably following the same poor advice she was givinig out and getting from other professionals she realized there needs to be a better way, and if “I am struggling, how are other moms supposed to know what to do??”

    You can hear Shari tell her story and actually watch her entire award-winning “Simply Breastfeeding” breastfeeding DVD class for free until September 30th thanks to the support of some really amazing breastfeeding-supportive companies.

    (my personal belief is what good is telling an expectant mom “Breast is Best” and cheering her on to do it, if you do not fully educate her on HOW TO be successful at breastfeeding, so she can make a truly informed choice with clarity and confidence…in addition to how to avoid the myriad of Booby Traps out there!)

    Here’s the link to watch Shari’s video:


    PS…we fully support Best for Babes, as you will see in her video! ;-)

  10. I have breastfed all 3 of our children (our 4 month old still nursing) and have never used formula to ‘supplement’. Though I still get at least 5 formula ads & coupons EVERYDAY in the mail! I was 20 and a single Mom working full-time when my son was born and I didn’t even consider that the ‘easy’ thing would be to formula feed him. I knew, even as young and immature as I was, that breastfeeding him was the best thing I could feed him – that my body would give him all the supplementing he needed!

    I have several friends who have chosen to formula feed and when we’ve talked about why they didn’t bf, they said they were not educated enough on how easy bfing actually was! That right after their baby was born, just like Shana said, they were just given cans of formula and the breastfeeding option wasn’t discussed passed the initial question. No, formula is NOT the same as breast milk, and you are fooling yourself if your really believe that. Look on the package – do you honestly know what half the ingredients are? Yes, Moms can choose whether to breast or formula feed their baby, but that doesn’t mean they really know what the BEST choice really is.

  11. As an american living in Germany I an happy to say that things are much different here! Everyone, men, women and children think brestfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and you would never be asked to leave a public place if you were nursing. I was worried at my baby’s christening that I would have to breastfeed during the ceremony and the female pastor fully supported it. In fact, she said whenever she was around town with her baby and needed to feed, she would look for a church because it was nice and quiet!

    On the other hand, while flying to the US with my baby (alone) the man next to me asked to be moved due to my breastfeeding, which they quickly did. When I asked if I could move to the COMPLETELY EMPTY business class seats just to feed they promtly pulled the curtains shut and fastened them tight.

    In Germany, we also after birth have a midwife assigned to us who visits up to 10 times at your house. This is a huge advantage to having to go out somewhere to get breastfeeding support. They really support you during the first hard weeks when it REALLY hurts. I think this is when most american moms might give up due to the pain and lack of support and also due to having to return to work. I have seen this with my sisters. Just my two cents from across the pond…

  12. I’m glad you don’t want to start a ‘war’ between breastfeeding and non-bf mothers. I bf my older daughter with no troubles, but when my 2nd daughter was born with special needs, I had no choice but to bottle feed her: her oral muscles were much too weak for the work. I pumped for as long as I could, but her weak suckling made my milk dry up faster. I think it all comes down to women supporting other women in their parenting choices, and not being so judgmental of each other.

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