Now that mothers can nurse their babies in public in all 50 states, maybe more moms will be encouraged to breastfeed their children up until six months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
According to the AAP, infants should be breastfed exclusively for about
the first six months with continued breastfeeding alongside
introduction of complementary foods for at least one year.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control showed that only 44 percent of mothers nursed their babies until they were three months. When the child turned six months, that number dropped to 18 percent.
“A lot of women give up on nursing their babies because of lack of support,” said Juana Rodriguez, who is a lactation consultant in Cape Coral.
Juana explained that working moms don’t have the support they need when they return to work. For example, the office doesn’t have a nursing room for when mothers need to pump their breast milk in private.
Some mothers also expressed that they don’t have enough support from family members, specifically the ones who do not agree with nursing in public.
Another obstacle mothers face is discomfort during nursing. Most of the time a new mom finds that it is too painful to breastfeed and they decide not to continue. This is a common occurrence when the baby isn’t latched on correctly.
Most mothers who find themselves in this predicament are frustrated because they are unaware of the resources that can help them.
Juana highlighted several places mothers can turn to for help with breastfeeding:
- “They can go to their local birthing center or hospital,”
- “Libraries, they have listings of resources,”
- “The health department provides services and information to help them,” and
- “They can go online, at the BigLatchOn.org and find all the resources that are available in their area to get help.”
Southwest Florida and Lee County Breast Coalition are taking steps to provide more support to mothers who struggle with breastfeeding. Aug. 3 thru Aug. 5, nursing mothers, from all over the world, will attempt to break last year’s world record of 17,092 latches.
Mothers who are at the pumping stage are also encouraged to join in on the event.
Big Latch On event in Southwest Florida
takes place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Healthy Life Center in Estero, 23190 Fashion Court, Suite 105.
To RSVP call 239-495-4475.
Additional reporting by Val Simpson