Watch above: World breastfeeding week sheds light on challenges facing new moms
SASKATOON – You’ve had your baby, now what?
For many new moms what comes next can be one of the most challenging parts of having a newborn, even though breastfeeding may seem intuitive.
“Hang in there, it’ll come,” said Megan Bobbee at Royal University Hospital’s maternity ward after giving birth to a little boy named Jett on July 28.
Like many moms, Bobbee has decided to breastfeed Jett who surprised her by coming a month early and just days before this year’s World Breastfeeding Week held August 1 to 7 in more than 120 countries worldwide.
“I feel that’s it’s the best nutritionally for him, it’s good for bonding and you get to spend a lot of one on one time with the baby and better for their immune system,” said Bobbee.
She also admits its been a bit of a learning process even though this is her second child.
“They always say it’s a natural thing but it’s definitely a learned skill I guess.”
Not surprising said Linda Wright, a lactation consultant at the ward whose worked with thousands of moms and babies for the last 20 plus years.
“I know our generation still feels that breastfeeding should be easy and normal and natural and instinctive but babies still need to learn how to latch, they know how to suck, swallow and breathe but they need to learn how to do the latch,” explained Wright.
In the end, between 74 and 78 per cent of mothers leave the ward breastfeeding their babies.
“We’re always looking to improve our results, we would like to see 80 per cent of moms leave here breastfeeding that’s kinda of a goal and that’s what we’re working towards,” said Julie Smith-Fehr, manager of the maternal and newborn care unit with the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR).
Scientific evidence suggests that the breast is best for babies.
“The most important one is human milk for human babies, the proteins there are made right for the baby, the immunological effects are also very important there’s high antibodies there,” explained Wright.
According to the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, there is also less likelihood of allergies and tooth decay among babies who are breastfeed.
“We feel that it provides the infant with the best protection although we recognize that some people make the informed choice not to breastfeed so we do make sure that we’ve given everybody all of the options and we do talk to all of our moms about breast feeding and what they’re choices are,” added Smith-Fehr.
For some women breastfeeding simply isn’t an option.
“She’s the only one that can make that decision. if she’s done what she feels she can do and she’s happy with what she has accomplished or not accomplished and needs to move on she has to come to that decision,” said Wright.