Look, I get it. You’ve had barely, if any, training in breastfeeding. You’re trying to CYA (cover your ass). But, you have to stop. You are literally ruining breastfeeding relationships for mothers that don’t know any better. Mothers that trust you to provide them with factual and accurate information because medical professionals are supposed to be someone that we can trust. Yes, I know that there are plenty of medical professionals out there that aren’t doing what I’m about to describe, but for every one that doesn’t, I’ve heard dozens, hundreds even, of stories just like those below.
“You’re going to have to wean her off before the baby comes because you won’t be able to make enough milk for both of them”
“If you don’t wean while you’re pregnant, you will have a miscarriage”
“She’s too old to be breastfeeding”
“Your baby doesn’t need to breastfeed through the night anymore”
“She’s not having enough wet diapers, you must supplement with formula” (baby less than 24 hours old)
“Baby is too small to breastfeed”
“Your baby lost too much weight, must supplement” (within the limits of normal weight loss)
“Your baby is lazy, just give formula”
“Your breastmilk has no nutritional value after a year”
“Only feed baby every 3 hours” (baby was 5 days old)
“You have to pump and dump for 24-48 hours after receiving anesthesia”
“You have to pump and dump while taking this medication”
“You have to pump and dump after receiving contrast for CT scan”
“You have to pump and dump after receiving…”
“You have to pump and dump…”
“You can’t breastfeed until…”
I’m begging you.
None of the above statements made to real mothers trying to nourish their child are accurate. Did you even reference the Medication and Mothers’ Milk book? Did you call InfantRisk to double check? Or did you just say you have to pump and dump? Did you attempt to find another solution to formula when you see a mother struggling or is it just more convenient for you to push the formula?
Your personal convictions about nursing through the night or nursing to sleep or the age of weaning, isn’t a reason to tell mothers inaccurate information. Your desire to get a mother out of the office, isn’t a reason to tell her she must pump and dump without checking for factual information first. Your desire to cover your ass, isn’t a reason to tell her she must pump and dump without checking for factual information first. Your laziness isn’t a reason to tell her she must pump and dump without checking for factual information first.
You are literally ruining a breastfeeding relationship between a mother and her nursling when giving inaccurate information. To say that “oh, a little formula won’t hurt”, couldn’t be further from the truth.
I implore you to make a commitment to do better. To do better for the babies that are better off in life with breastmilk from their mothers. To do better for the mothers depending on you for factual information. To do better for yourself and colleagues knowing that you are giving the most updated and accurate information.
Dear Mothers: I challenge you to do your own research, to reach out to a Certified Lactation Consultant and/or call the Infant Risk Hotline in the event that you are told to pump and dump or given information about breastfeeding that doesn’t sit right with your “mom gut”
You may also be interested in these 50+ Breastfeeding Myths Busted.