Breastfeeding, Pumping, and Working for Change

I recently came across this article about exclusively pumping breastmilk to bottlefeed babies, and the consequences it may hold for children. Possible health consequences (increased chance of contaminationforemilk/hindmilk imbalance, increased risk of ear infections) aside, this quote from the original article over at Being A Mom brought up another consideration in the discussion about exclusive pumping:

“There’s also a danger that moms will go straight for the pump and never even attempt to breastfeed their babies, and that the availability of efficient pumps will make it more difficult to argue for the importance of legislated maternity leave.”

bfing mom

Pumping is an option for mothers who MUST work to support their family, but exclusive pumping is not the ideal situation that women should strive for. Whenever women are viewed as employees first and mothers second, then the health of babies and families will suffer. Instead of making breast pumps more portable for use while working, we should return the focus to ensuring that mothers and babies receive the best start from birth. We can achieve this goal by:

  • Placing the baby on the mother’s chest after birth for skin-to-skin bonding
  • Providing patient, one-on-one support to mothers and babies breastfeeding for the first time
  • Helping the mother find breastfeeding peer support in her community once she leaves the hospital
  • Continuing to educate our friends and loved ones about the benefits of breastfeeding in order to reduce the stigma around it
  • Providing adequate, paid family leave to allow mothers to rest, heal, and establish a tight bond with their baby before returning to work

For more information about the advocacy work being done around increased family leave, visit Moms Rising to learn more about how you can contact your U.S. Senators about the FAMILY Act.

In Peace,
Zola

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