Is the Medical Community Failing Breastfeeding Moms?
The doctor blamed it on the baby. “She’s not absorbing your milk,” he told Colleen Kelly, in the days after he daughter was born, as the baby lost too much weight and cried constantly. Lactation consultants said, “She’s not latching properly.”
Kelly drove through rural Maine for hours to attend breast-feeding support groups and La Leche League meetings, yet the baby went from eight to six pounds and was diagnosed as “failure to thrive.” The baby’s kidneys were x-rayed and blood taken, but doctors found nothing wrong.
Not once in her travels did someone suggest that perhaps the problem was Kelly herself, rather than her baby or her ability to latch on. She told doctors that her mother hadn’t been able to produce enough breast milk—could that be happening to her?
No, they said. That was an old wives’ tale. But they never even looked at her breasts.
“It was clear that none of the doctors or nurses knew enough about breast-feeding to figure out what was happening,” Kelly says.
That’s because lactation is probably the only bodily function for which modern medicine has almost no training, protocol or knowledge. When women have trouble breast-feeding, they’re either prodded to try harder by well-meaning lactation consultants or told to give up by doctors. They’re almost never told, “Perhaps there’s an underlying medical problem—let’s do some tests.”
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/02/is-the-medical-community-failing-breastfeeding-moms/