The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that “…babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers.”
Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for approximately six months and then given supplementary breast milk for 1 year or longer. Breast milk contains natural protections for infants in the form of nutrients and antibodies.
Interestingly, Idaho is ranked as the state with the most mothers (91.8%) who breastfeed at some point (the national average is 76%). By one year, Utah, Idaho, California, Hawaii, and Vermont moms are ranked in the top five states for most breastfeeding mothers. (Percentages taken from a CDC report.)
For something so natural, breastfeeding doesn’t always come easily to mothers and babies. The support of other women who are also breastfeeding and can provide insight and perspective can be invaluable and help struggling moms find success. If you are struggling with breastfeeding or just needing or wanting a little support from other new parents, seeking out parenting groups or a local La Leche League could be the perfect way to meet new people with similar experiences.
If you have been breastfeeding and are thinking about weaning, here are some steps to consider. It is always recommended to proceed gradually, whether it’s baby led or mother led, to avoid it being traumatic for your baby or physically painful for you (i.e. clogged ducts).
Skip a Feeding: Offer a bottle or a cup of milk to transition away from one feeding at a time. Reducing feedings over time gives your child time to adjust and can reduce your milk supply gradually.
Shorten nursing time: Reduce nursing time by a few minutes (or more depending on how you want to approach it) each time. Perhaps follow a reduced feeding with a healthy snack if your baby is at a suitable age, e.g. applesauce.
Postpone and Distract: Postponing breastfeeding sessions (while providing other foods) and distracting with activities or explaining that you’re waiting for bedtime can be a way to reduce feedings and encourage weaning. Weaning can be bittersweet—both sad and freeing. And only you and your child can decide what method or timeline is best for your family. Finding other ways to nurture and comfort your child can take time, but being firm, gentle, and seeking out a friend or your partner for support during the process is important.
Mamas + Papas November 2015 Topics:
- Monday, November 2: Dressing Your Kids for Winter Play
- Monday, November 9: Establishing Holiday Traditions
- Monday, November 16: Homeopathics and Essential Oils for the Cold and Flu Season with ViviAnne Fischer
- Monday, November 23: Holiday—No Meeting
- Monday, November 30: Open Discussion. Family Check-in. Bring questions/topics that you would like to discuss
Where: Uma Center (414 S Jefferson St, Moscow—corner of 5th and Jefferson)
When: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Who: YOU! All interested participants are encouraged to attend!
Each Mamas and Papas Group Meeting features a speaker on a topic that is relevant to expectant parents or parents of children up to two years of age. Childcare assistance will be provided by Co-op volunteers during the meeting. The Co-op Outreach Team will be there with refreshments and samples. We hope to see you in November!