Breastfeeding initiatives can have unintended consequences

By Will Boggs MD

“Stress, exhaustion and pressure, which some parents may experience in hospitals that rigidly enforce certain practices to comply with certification or regulatory measures, is not helpful and in fact interferes with the natural process of breastfeeding,” Dr. Bass said.

“Having said that, there is no doubt that some health care providers have become extremely committed to certain practices and may have a real problem accepting that some of the practices they have promoted may actually cause harm,” Dr. Bass said. “However, as with every aspect of medicine we sometimes need to reverse direction.”

“In the case of Baby Friendly 10 steps we are facing the added challenge of regulatory and major public health agencies who have committed to some practices which will need to change,” he said. “It is our hope that this article will help them understand the need to modify their recommendations in order to safely support their goal to promote breastfeeding.”

“Physicians should focus on the importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers safely,” Dr. Bass concluded. “We would hope they would advocate for constructive change in public policy to supplement their efforts.”

Read more at Consultant 360.