Breast Isn't 'Best'

More anti-breastfeeding bunkum on my Facebook timeline recently, more rambles about the 'breastfeeding nazis', more Facebook bans on people sharing their #brelfies, more attempts to convince us that formula is just as adequate.  Yawn, yawn, yawn.

Earlier on I had cause to turn to the World Health Organisation guidelines on breastfeeding, and thought it was worth re-publishing them here.

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health.

Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.

This unequivocal statement on the normalcy and huge advantages of being breastfed from birth up to two years, and beyond, may not suit our modern attitudes, but there can be no doubt about the biological advantages.  Whatever the media and formula-funded 'medical' studies may try to convince us otherwise.

Breast isn't 'best', it's optimal, it's normal, it's natural.

It may not always be easy, but if proper help is sought, and offered, breastfeeding will be successful, even in an anti-breastfeeding culture like ours.

Unfortunately, your NHS midwife or breastfeeding support group, your Children's Centre or NCT group are probably not the best places to turn.  Try La Leche League, or for online help advice try  the amazing Dr Jack Newman's site.

Do the best for your babies mamas, you CAN breastfeed!

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  1. I sought help with breastfeeding from a variety of sources and yet still didn't make it. I had help both over the phone and in person from my community midwife, from my NCT teacher - who was the only one that came round when I was about to have a nervous breakdown - and from the NCT helpline. I phoned the La Leche Legue twice and emailed them once. Both phone calls and the email were ignored. So please don't go saying that you can breastfeed if you seek the right help - I sought help, and found my NCT teacher the most helpful and compassionate, but the help wasn't always so readily available to me as you suggest above.

    1. How lovely to hear a positive NCT experience! I'm so glad they were there for you, it sounds like you had a hell of a time Nicola. I always advise mums-to-be to go along to La Leche League meetings in the last few months of their pregnancy as it helps to normalise breastfeeding in the mind, as well as establishing connections that will be useful after the birth. I'm sorry the helpline wasn't there for you when you needed it.

      I dearly wish breastfeeding was normalised in our society and then most of these problems would be eradicated. Allison Dixley's book is really interesting on how mothers are sabotaged, and often unfortunately self-sabotage, before their baby is even born. A lot needs to change.

  2. Beautifully put! Wish more people had access to those words of wisdom. I'm feeding my little boy who is 26 months and feel like I'm a rare species of mother as it don't know of anyone else doing the same.

    1. Thank you N, always here to support you. We are a rare species, but there are enough of us to join together and make our voices heard. Keep going hun, you're doing an amazing job.


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