A recent study in Australia has proven that breastfeeding rates increase when mothers speak frequently with mothers who have previously breastfed.
Let us first begin this article by making it perfectly clear that feeding your child is by far the most important thing. Every mom is doing their best and no mom should ever shame one another for not breastfeeding their baby. That being said, we also are very aware of all of the health benefits that breastfeeding has to offer for our little babies. Doctors will always encourage mothers to try breastfeeding first if they have the ability to do so and it's healthy for both mother and baby. Many resources are available for nursing moms, but are we doing as much as we can?
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A recent Australian study shows that the breastfeeding rates will increase if new breastfeeding mothers have access to frequent phone calls, or other interactions, with mothers who have previously breastfed babies. It is helpful for new breastfeeding mothers to be able to communicate with experienced mothers for support.
Most new pregnant mothers assume that they are going to be able to breastfeed their babies. The majority of women believe that they are going to be able to easily breastfeed their child and they just assume that it will be "easy." It's just a matter of your baby sucking out the milk, right? New mom's quickly learn that it isn't as easy as it sounds. You have to learn how to get your baby to latch without hurting, you get cracked nipples, you can get Mastitis, or even Thrush! Breastfeeding is extremely difficult and many moms find that they just can't do it anymore. Of course there are situations where mothers physically cannot produce milk for their baby, or babies have issues where they can't latch. However, there are many situations where mother's just don't have the support they deserve to be able to continue nursing.
The Australian study followed two sets of women. One set of women were given the normal maternal post-pregnancy care while the second set of women were given supportive calls from experienced mothers who could walk them through the struggles of breatfeeding. The women who were receiving the calls had a higher rate of continuing to breastfeed than those mothers who were not receiving the supportive calls. Hopefully, this study shows the importance of support for new mothers and we can start creating programs to help women breastfeeding longer if that's what the mothers are trying to do.