If breastfeeding is on your mind, you're in luck. Tomorrow through Aug. 7 is World Breastfeeding Week, which gives me a perfect opportunity to offer some accumulated readers' Qs on the subject, along with some As and resources.
Q. Is breastfeeding really best for my baby?
A. Yes. Notice there isn't any hemming and hawing in that answer. Among other things, it reduces the risk of ear infections, allergies and type 1 diabetes for your baby. If you're a skeptic, read this, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and this, from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Q. But what if I try and can't make it happen?
A. Know that you tried, let yourself be sad about it, and then move on. On the other hand, don't give up until you exhaust all the support and resources that are available. For instance, get yourself to Cambridge Hospital this Friday, August 3, from 1 to 4 p.m. In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, the Baby-Friendly Committee of Cambridge Health Alliance offers a free family event to support breastfeeding moms, and staff will be available to answer questions. Cambridge Hospital is located at 1493 Cambridge St. Oh yeah, also free refreshments.
Q. I'm worried that I may need to stop prematurely because I need to take medications.
A. There's some new research and a database on this. Talk to your doctor about it.
Q. I'd like to nurse as long as I can. Is there an outside limit?
A. That's a cultural issue more than anything else. Read this.
Q. When I nurse in public, my husband is always embarassed. Advice?
A. Practice at home until you are able to be discreet enough for his comfort. Some women prefer to retreat to a private space, others wear nursing-friendly clothes, and still others invent dorky-looking cover-ups like this which, in my opinion, bring more attention to you, not less.
To me, if the choice is this
is there really a question?