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breastfeeding: Drawing by Cassatt of a woman breastfeeding (Cassatt Drawing)

breastfeeding's Journal

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Created on 2009-04-12 08:04:46 (#43441), last updated 2010-06-08 (380 weeks ago)

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Community description:Support Community for breastfeeding mothers and mother to be.
"Women should not feel guilty if they are unable to breastfeed, but they should feel guilty if they are unwilling to do so, and they should be intellectually honest enough to know the difference." - Elizabeth Gene

This community is for parents who breastfeed, wish to breastfeed, have breastfed or wish they had.

The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life, and complementary feeding of solids in addition to breastmilk for another 18 months. After this minimum period of two years of breastfeeding, the WHO recommend that breastfeeding continues for as long as mother and child mutually desire.

Therefore this community will not give advice on early introduction of solids, or in early cessation of breastfeeding. "Weaning" is a term that changes in translation, and we use the wider sense of 'weaning' as the process of introduction of solids, to the gradual displacement of breastfeeding. Therefore, a child has not 'weaned' until they have finished entirely with the breast, or breast milk. We support both child led weaning, and mother led weaning, as long as the mother is not weaning prior to two years. If mothers have weaned prior to the two year mark, they are not excluded from membership, we just don't give advice on how to achieve this.

Likewise, advice will not be given on formula feeding, unless medically indicated. We will support with help and advice on how to bottle feed in a way that supports the biology of the dyad, regardless of content of the bottle. Anyone requiring advice on how, and why, to prepare formula that has been medically indicated, should go to:

Mothers who are medically required to supplement, but are unable to obtain donor human milk, will be supported: we understand your grief and will support you in expressing it, and moving forward in a way that is safe for you and your baby. Mothers who have decided to mix feed, or switch to formula feeding, for social reasons, should look for another community.

We believe that offering your child your breast is both your human right, and your child's birth right. We will support you in this decision, and offer aid and to support to anyone who has struggled in the past, or is struggling now. We also seek to celebrate the achievement of all women who seek to breastfeed in a society that is less than supportive of this primal human need.

The advice in this community is mother to mother. Whilst many contributors have immense knowledge and information, there is no 'expert' here to tell you what to do. We speak as informed and experienced mothers, not as doctors or clinicians. Sometimes it will be suggested you need to see, or speak, to an expert in lactation. The gold standard on lactation support worldwide, is IBCLC, a credential you need to check is held by any 'expert' you see in the medical system. If you need to find an IBCLC in your own region, you can check here: and then hit the 'IBCLC registry' for your region.

Breastfeeding, as a culturally sensitive activity, has many myths that are inaccurate and damaging to success. This community will only give advice and suggestions that are grounded in evidence based research. We will challenge myth based advice, and seek to replace it with factual evidence that has been peer reviewed.

For anyone looking for any type of information and support on breastfeeding, there are various excellent online resources:


Up to date evidence based research on all breastfeeding matters. Search engine can be prickly, but in the main, the first stop for help and advice. USA based.

The Birth Den

Collected articles and videos, mostly from Dr Jack Newman, who also contributes to Kellymom.

La Leche League

Has a vast resource pool of articles, particularly good for the more uncommon issues. Also has country specific free to attend support meetings, with access to a book library at such meetings. Quite a good search engine, but can take some thought in terms of types of answers laid out - articles versus personal experience etc Main site also has question and answer forums. Phoneline support in many countries - check main website for country specific details.

The Breastfeeding Network

UK based information and support resource. Has excellent handouts to print on UK breastfeeeding safe prescriptions. Also has a 24 hour information helpline. 0300 100 0210

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Excellent online information. Good search engine. Also has question and answer forums, and phoneline. 1800 686 2 686


Youtube site that contains excellent latch videos etc. Mostly Jack Newman's stuff, but some others interesting breastfeeding videos. Every clip has extensive 'further help' and links to resources in the 'more info' box.

The majority of women can breastfeed successfully with a tiny amount of support and good information. Sadly, most medical services are lacking both. This community is here to help, by letting you know how common it is to struggle, yet how normal it is to succeed.

As a community, we support and uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (The Code) and seek to support IBFAN in its work across the globe.

"For optimal feeding to be considered normative behavior we must shift from discussing breastfeeding as a benefit and change to the recognition that lack of breastfeeding is a risk behavior. Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to develop allergies, have lower IQs, die of SIDS, be obese as children and as adults, and have risk factors for cardiac disease in later life. They will have an increased risk of certain cancers, as will their mothers who did not breastfeed. Perhaps, most importantly, these non-breastfed babies will have deficient immune systems, rendering them more susceptible to a wide variety of diseases and less able to fight the infectious diseases that they do experience."

Miriam H. Labbock,
Senior Advisor,
Infant & Young Child Feeding and Care UNICEF (2001-2005)
Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill
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