Nursing Facts by the Numbers
The most comprehensive breastfeeding tips, facts, and figures any new mom should know
3.) And It's Hard at Work:
Talk to your boss and human resources rep about your breastfeeding plans in your second trimester. Try to negotiate as much paid leave as possible — you may want to tack on vacation days. Push for the creation of a clean, private space to pump milk, if there isn't one (the ladies' room, by law, doesn't count). If you're a wage earner, see if you can come in early or stay late at work to make up for pumping breaks.
Breastfeeding role models can be scarce. Even for those who have the time and space to breastfeed, nursing — with its promise of occasional discomfort and ill-timed nip slips — can sometimes be a tough sell. “Most mothers today were born at a time when formula feeding was the norm,” says Mohrbacher. “Women often turn to their mothers for guidance, and if there's no experience there, there may be no support.” This is often true for African-American moms, who are more likely than women of other races to use formula even when they have higher incomes and educational degrees, factors usually associated with breastfeeding. “There's a cultural bias against breastfeeding that traces back to the time when black women served as wet nurses for their masters,” says Kiddada Green, 34, founder and president of the Black Mothers Breast Feeding Association (BMBFA), which uses social media and on-site hospital visits to reach moms. “Many women still associate bottle feeding with something the elite do; if you nurse your child, you must be poor.”
Make breast friends. The La Leche League (llli.org) links nursing moms through local support, and Breastfeeding USA (breastfeedingusa.org) connects women with “breastfeeding counselors,” experienced mothers who've gone through a four- to six-month training program to provide phone, e-mail or in-person support. The BMBFA has a Facebook page where moms trade tips. “Breastfeeding can be isolating,” says Mohrbacher. “But the more you surround yourself with other moms who are doing it too, the more you'll understand your experiences are normal.”