Mothering and Life in General
Breastfeeding Information: Reporting Medical Professionals (Ontario, Canada)
It was brought to my attention that my Region is highly regarded in the Ontario Breastfeeding Committee (The Ontario Breastfeeding Committee helps oversee Baby-Friendly Intuitive for Canada). I wish I can say congratulations to my community, but I can’t. I volunteer for my community’s Mother-to-Mother Breastfeeding Support Group, I go to Le Leche League Meetings, and I speak with other mothers who breastfeed. It never fails, I hear stories similar to what happened to me and our daughter, K2.
“Your baby is not growing the way we want them too, Your baby is Failure to Thrive, You need to give formula, because you are not making enough for your baby, You need to stop breastfeeding, because your milk is not good enough for your baby, Oh, while you were sleeping we gave your baby some formula, you need to get some rest, Your baby is jaundiced, your milk is not good enough, you need to supplement”.
Have you heard these? Have you something to add? This is from, what I thought to be a Baby-Friendly Intuitive Region. I was proud the “Formula, No Thanks” was out, I love that the stickers of Baby-Friendly Intuitive were on the walls of our local hospital. As soon as I found out we were the largest Region to become Baby-friendly, when I received wrong advise that I know is harmful if stated to a newly nursing mother, who might not know, I reported it, to protect our baby-friendly status. Then followed up on it. I have done this many times with our Telehealth care.
But as I near the weaning years, I hear more and more mothers and their families telling me stories, that become personal to me. Our Region is not any better, it’s not even close to a change from when I was a newly nursing mother with no one to protect me. With a Pediatrician in the NICU pushing me around, then another after K2 was diagnosed with GERD. I hurt for these mothers, maybe more so because I am not over what was done to me. I don’t know where I was different and continued on, but there was a time were I wore thin, and I thought, “Maybe, just maybe it is my milk, maybe they are right.”
We still nurse today, but it’s not because I prevailed, it’s not that I had much support with real-life people. I didn’t. I stand sit here to say I breastfeed our daughter, because I like a challenge and breastfeeding is one perfect challenge for me. I also like to prove people wrong, and when a Medical Professional says I can’t do something, I say:
“Watch me! What do you mean I can’t nurse my daughter when I am healthy and was able to carry her? What do you mean I am a mammal but I can’t give my milk? Whatever did we do before Formula? What do you mean that I can’t make enough when I feed my daughter there is more milk to feed another? What do you mean you know more than I do, when YOU only had one day in College/University about breastfeeding? What did you learn in that one day? Right, how milk is produced in the breast and how similar properties are in formula, not how to help support it and maintain the breastfeeding relationship. BUT you sure can go on about formula — I bow down (rolls eyes)”.
I am writing this as a plea, a beg, a cry for help to write your story to the Committee to tell them what is really happening here. They seem to not know of the fight we still have as breastfeeding mothers (past, present and future) in this Region. Share your stories with them (even if you are not in the same Region as me, please share from your Canadian area), let us ask for their help to make this Community as baby-friendly that I thought it was becoming. Without our stories (yes, I am writing my story too, even if it’s 3 years later), how can they know? How can we change the way we are treated when it’s kept silent?
Your letter should be forwarded from the Committee to your Region’s Health Department, you may be contacted for further information as well. In any rate, keep these letters because during Breastfeeding Week I hope to find other ways to report your incidences along with a model letter for parents with new babies, who don’t have the time to write a full letter. Wish me luck to find the information needed and I wish luck for you too.