8. She tells you that there breastmilk has no nutritional value after the baby is six months or older. Even if it were true, there is still value in breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a unique interaction between two people in love even without the milk. But it is not true. Breastmilk is still milk, with fat, protein, calories, vitamins and the rest, and the antibodies and other elements which protect the baby against infections are still there, some in greater quantities than when the baby was younger. Anyone who tells you this doesn’t know the first thing about breastfeeding.
9. She tells you that you must never allow your baby to fall asleep at the breast. Why not? It is fine if a baby can also fall asleep without nursing, but one of the advantages of breastfeeding is that you have a handy way of putting your tired baby to sleep. Mothers around the world since the beginning of mammalian time have done just that. One of the great pleasures of parenthood is having a child fall asleep in your arms, feeling the warmth he gives off as sleep overcomes him. It is one of the pleasures of breastfeeding, both for the mother and probably also for the baby, when the baby falls asleep at the breast.
10. She tells you that you should not stay in hospital to nurse your sick child because it is important you rest at home. It is important you rest, and the hospital that is supportive of breastfeeding will arrange it so that you can rest while you stay in the hospital to nurse your baby. Sick babies do not need breastfeeding less than a healthy baby, they need it more.
Handout #18. How to know a health professional is not Supportive of Breastfeeding
Revised January 2000
Written by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
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