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Health Team

New moms face choices about breastfeeding

Posted September 1, 2010

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— Breastfeeding is healthy for babies and mothers but presents challenges for every mother and their newborns.

Rex Hospital lactation specialist Sheri Taylor said that nursing a baby naturally is a growing trend.

"Here at Rex, about 80 percent of our mothers come to the hospital with the intent to feed," Taylor said. "We're very fortunate that so many woman are so motivated."

Kelly Topoll said she intends to breastfeed the new addition to her family, son Gavin.

"We have three children, and I breastfed all of them," Topoll said. "I just knew I wanted to do it because of the health benefits."

Breastfeeding helps babies develop their immune system, and breastfed babies generally have fewer problems with colds and urinary tract infections.

It also helps mothers lose their pregnancy weight more quickly. Research has shown that they also experience fewer incidences of breast and uterine cancers later in life.

However, breastfeeding can become difficult for a variety of reasons. It can be painful at first, or a new mother might lack family support. Returning to the workforce also presents challenges, especially in a down economy.

"Those women feel a lot of pressure to go back to their work lives," Taylor said.

As another option, many women turn to baby formula.

Topoll said she considered using formula with her second child when she started a teaching job but found ways to work around it.

"I just established some routines, and then it just became part of my everyday life," she said.

But Topoll's second child was a big boy, and at one point, he wasn't getting enough breast milk to satisfy his needs.

"So I did have to supplement some, about four months in, to give him some extra calories," she said.

Taylor said that she always recommends breastfeeding over baby formula but is glad that other option is available.

"Our formula is a safe alternative for the mother who just can't breastfeed," she said.

46 Comments

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  • wakeresident Sep 9, 2010

    BigUNCFan, a mom doesn't need to decide immediately when weaning will happen. Most children will wean themselves, if allowed, and most do so before 5. Should you go ahead and wean at six months in case a 5 year old wants to nurse? No. My children both self weaned, and both before age 2.

    Wildcat, I respectfully submit that you are wrong. Formula is great - when breastmilk isn't available. However, formula is a rather poor substitute. All of those benefits of breastfeeding, like decreased breast cancer? Consider this. Breastfeeding is what babies are biologically supposed to do. A substitute is unnatural. Therefore, it can be said that formula feeding increases the risk of breast cancer. Breastfeeding is the biological norm for babies. I'm glad we have formula for babies who cannot be provided breastmilk, but you can't say it's just as good. It's also rather expensive.

  • HowManyOunces Sep 9, 2010

    5 years old is overkill, but the American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend breastfeeding until 24 months.

  • HowManyOunces Sep 9, 2010

    The hospitals need to fund more training for their nurses around breastfeeding. I breastfed my son for 12 months, but the hospital where he was born did not help much. I am so glad that I did it. He is a year old now and has had 1 cold this entire time and got better within a week.

    My friend just had a little girl and became engorged. The nurse told her not to nurse until her engorgement went away!?! The poor thing was in horrible pain and could have gotten an infection. If she hadn't had friends who had bf to give her advice, she would have switched to formula.

  • Baybee Doll Sep 8, 2010

    I agree, 5 yrs old is gross.

  • djcnty8 Sep 8, 2010

    "I like the enthusiasm there chief but I think it is the parent that needs to set the time to stop, not the kids. There was a story on the news a while back with a 5 year old walking up to be breast fed. Kinda gross there. That is why the call it weening them off." - BigUNCFan
    It seems like you are more obsessed with the gross part of breastfeeding rather than the sexy appearance of breastfeeding. To see a child latched on to the mother for nourishment is the most attractive and healthy thing around. Would you rather see that 5 year old being breast-fed or choking down a happy meal from McDonalds?

  • BigUNCFan Sep 8, 2010

    "I am proud of the fact that my wife breastfeeds our daughter and will continue to do so until my little girl has decided she wants to stop."
    djcnty8

    I like the enthusiasm there chief but I think it is the parent that needs to set the time to stop, not the kids. There was a story on the news a while back with a 5 year old walking up to be breast fed. Kinda gross there. That is why the call it weening them off.

  • djcnty8 Sep 8, 2010

    One of my biggest complaints about nursing staff in a Labor and Delivery section of a hospital is the fact that they want to push formula on newborns instead of the natural form of breastfeeding.
    As a father of a nearly 2 year old little girl, I am proud of the fact that my wife breastfeeds our daughter and will continue to do so until my little girl has decided she wants to stop.
    For those that are about to become parents La Leche League is a great source of information about breastfeeding and great at providing guidance.

  • Pseudonym Sep 8, 2010

    Most guys have absolutely no problem with breasts. Only Bible-thumpers.

  • roaddog3 Sep 8, 2010

    Comeon folks whats the big deal, its only a breast, everyone has one, if you are offended then don't look. I'm sure all you complainers are just jealous or liberal. Just mind your own buisness and everyone would get along alot better.

  • wildcat Sep 7, 2010

    Efamil is a great source of milk for infants and its convenient.

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