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Aug 1, 201110:33 AMEditor's Blog

Happy World Breastfeeding Week

Aug 1, 2011 - 10:33 AM

I’m writing this blog in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. How many of you breastfed your babies? I’d like to know your feelings about it. My three kids were all breastfed babies, and I’m glad I did it. But I’ll be the first to admit, it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.


Before you think I’m going all negative on breastfeeding, I’m not. But with my first child, I did have a lot of difficulties, and it was due more to my own ignorance than anything else. I don’t think I entirely got the “latching on” part and ended up with so much soreness and bleeding that it felt like electroshock every time I started nursing. Obviously, if I was willing to endure pain, I was determined.


If you’re the type of person who is reading a blog about breastfeeding, then you probably are already familiar with the many benefits of breastfeeding, both for baby and mom. I knew those benefits, too, which was the reason I was so determined to breastfeed.


One thing that I don’t think I entirely realized was that it takes major maturity, determination and support to breastfeed. Fortunately, I had all of those. With my first child (Poor kid. He had to be an experiment for everything.), I also was constantly second-guessing whether or not he was “getting enough.” Even though he was growing and gaining weight, I still questioned. Ah, just the beginning of the uncertainties of parenthood.


If you want support or information about breastfeeding, the La Leche League is always a great resource. The Tulsa Health Department also has resources for moms. I just got a nice press release from them in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. The Health Department points out that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants receive only human milk (no formula, food or water) for the first 6 months of life.


While many women start out breastfeeding, a return to work often interrupts them. While 77.6 percent of Oklahoma mothers breastfeed initially, only 25.4 percent continue for 6 months or longer. Work is the primary reason that mothers wean their babies early.


With the new healthcare reform bill, working moms who breastfeed are getting a little support.  Here are some of the points for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:


• Employers must provide women in the workforce a reasonable break time and space to express their milk for their babies.

• This must be provided for one year after the child’s birth.

• The place employers provide must not be a bathroom. It must be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers and the public.

• Employers are not required to pay their employees for the time they spend expressing their milk.

• Employers with fewer than 50 workers are exempt from these requirements if they would pose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the business.


Oklahoma already has a program in place to recognize worksites that have met criteria to become breastfeeding friendly. These worksites allow flexible break times and a private location for nursing mothers to express milk, have access to a nearby water source for washing hands and breast pump equipment, and have a written breastfeeding policy.


Do you have any advice for new moms, or any breastfeeding stories of your own?  Was it easy? Did you have problems? Share here.


Old to new | New to old
Aug 7, 2011 04:25 pm
 Posted by  Whatscookinstacey

I breastfed all three of my kiddos. The first for 18 months, the second for 4 years and the third is still nursing to sleep at night. Nursing is not easy but once you get the swing of it there is no better way to feed and bond with your baby. It is a learned art, just don't be too hard on yourself and relax. If you are relaxed milk flows easier and baby latches on better.

Aug 9, 2011 11:00 am
 Posted by  honeybeemama

Lactation Consultants at the hospitals are a great resource too. Also, while not all Doulas are certified Lactation Consultants, they have training and knowledge to assist you with the basics of breastfeeding. They will also know LCs and will give referrals. www.tulsadoulas.com is a great resource!

With that I'll say that support is definitely the key. My oldest had a lot of trouble latching on and I was unable to nurse him without a nipple shield. They are recommended only in the beginning and you're supposed to wean baby off of them as quickly as possible. I couldn't wean Aidan off of it for something like 6 months and I felt like a horrible mother - even though he was exclusively breastfed and growing fine. Terrible how perfectionism follows us into parenthood. Thankfully I reached a point where I stopped judging MYSELF and realized that what works is what works!

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Our editor-in-chief, Betty started working for TulsaKids when her youngest child was 3 years old. That daughter will be starting graduate school in the fall. Her son is now 27 and her middle daughter is 24. TulsaKids and her children literally grew up together (and she lived to tell about it)! Betty is an avid runner, cook (loves to eat) and coffee snob. She is an award-winning writer and most recently was honored with a Great Plains Journalism Award as Best Blogger of 2013. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “May Finds Her Way” (2013 The RoadRunner Press). Watch for her every Tuesday on KTUL Channel 8’s Good Morning Oklahoma and Thursdays on KTUL’s Good Day Tulsa.

She enjoys getting reader feedback on articles, blogs or with suggestions for the magazine. Email her at editor@tulsakids.com

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