Sarah Christopherson is a mother and the Policy Advocacy Director at the National Women’s Health Network, a non-profit advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. She talks about her breastfeeding experiences and her recent experience in a Baby-Friendly hospital where her child became severely dehydrated and lost 15% of her birth weight while in the hospital. She discusses how policies can negatively affect patient health and how systemic change is needed to support positive patient health outcomes and prevent patient coercion.
Stephanie is a mom and professional, working as an ultrasound technologist, who shares her own experience with breastfeeding, supplementing and formula-feeding. She talks about the postpartum depression and anxiety she experienced by while exclusively pumping for her first baby. She discusses how important getting support to feed her baby in the way that best worked for her family was and how important protecting her mental health was for her, her baby and her family.
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Brittany Littlefield is a mom who shares with her experience trying to breastfeed her children. She discusses the challenges she faced breastfeeding and needing to find a community that accepted her experience and ultimately, her decision to stop breastfeeding. She discusses the shame and guilt mothers are subject to based on how they feed their babies and calls for society to support every mother, regardless of how she feeds.
Mandy talks about her experience with her son who developed failure-to-thrive after a month of “cluster-feeding.” She discusses how it felt to find out her son was starving despite hours a day of nursing. She talks about how harmful it is for moms to be told that exclusive breastfeeding is the only way to provide the best for your child.
Dr. Beth Elston is a mother and a general pediatrician. She talks about her experience as a breastfeeding mother. She talks about how breastfeeding education taught to moms and health professionals often does not fit with reality and discusses the harm caused by programs like the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. She shares her insights on how to best support mothers regardless of their ability or decision to breastfeed and how to respect mother’s decisions, including breastfeeding, formula-feeding or combo-feeding. She shares how her experience has changed how she supports her patients in their unique infant feeding journeys.
For World Breastfeeding/Safe Infant Feeding Month, we are celebrating by interviewing real mothers and talking to them about their breastfeeding/infant feeding experiences. It is my great honor to share with you my interview with Steph Montgomery, writer, public health advocate and mother, who talked about her breastfeeding experiences. She talks abut how safe, respectful and transparent breastfeeding support and education on breastfeeding and supplementation made a difference in her breastfeeding experiences. She goes on to talk about how mothers are treated in health care settings and how the current paradigm that respects only exclusive breastfeeding as ideal harms moms and babies.