Breastfeeding: Consider the needs of the mother

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World Breastfeeding Week focuses on the needs of mothers this year

This year's World Breastfeeding Week runs until Sunday, during which numerous doctors, midwives and clinics report on the benefits of breastfeeding, but also on possible reasons for early weaning. The World Breastfeeding Week explicitly focuses on the needs of mothers this year.

The St. Joseph Hospital in Berlin is also participating in various campaigns at this year's World Breastfeeding Week, not least in order to achieve a further increase in breastfeeding readiness. But "maternity and children's hospitals can only promote breastfeeding effectively if they take the needs of mothers seriously," the clinic said. Therefore, “baby-friendly institutions would put the focus on mothers, for example, by offering professional support for the start of breastfeeding.” The advantages of breastfeeding are generally known both in the professional world and among expectant mothers, but many women can do so from others Do not breastfeed for reasons (within the desired range). There is often massive pressure on them when they have to choose between a breast or a bottle.

Changing attitudes towards breastfeeding In general, attitudes towards breastfeeding "have improved significantly in Germany since the 1980s and the number of those who breastfeed fully and for longer has increased significantly," explained Professor Michael Abou-Dakn, chief physician of gynecology at St. Joseph Krankenhaus opposite the news agency "dpa". According to the doctor, around nine out of ten women want to breastfeed their newborn, but many would give up after a relatively short time for various reasons. After four months, according to Abou-Dakn, "only 60 percent of women are still breastfeeding, and only half of them are breastfeeding exclusively", although the health benefits of breastfeeding are well known. It is not without reason that the National Breastfeeding Commission recommends breastfeeding for at least four months and only then slowly getting used to complementary foods.

Often people stop breastfeeding early According to the chief gynecologist at St. Joseph Hospital, there are several reasons for stopping breastfeeding early. For example, smokers or women who are planning a quick return to work would often wean after a relatively short period of time. Furthermore, according to Abou-Dakn, the level of education apparently plays a role. “We cannot reach many women who are not well educated. They are more likely to believe the promise of the baby food industry, ”said the doctor.

Developing support for the mothers According to the breastfeeding officer of the Berlin Midwifery Association, Corinna Lenné, an essential sticking point in successful breastfeeding is the first days after birth. “Mother and child need a lot of physical contact and a lot of time together. And it must not be the case that in the hospital different information comes from every mouth to breastfeed, ”quotes the news agency“ dpa ”, the expert's statement. Under no circumstances should pressure be built up here. Lenné emphasizes that she would not persuade a woman to breastfeed, but rather that constructive support was needed. Most mothers would put the pressure on themselves anyway. Particularly in the case of women who give birth late, there is often "a high urge to perfection". “After the professional career and the late child of choice, breastfeeding must also be perfect. But that's pretty much squeezed into such a woman's life, ”explained Lenné.

Mothers in clinics who have been explicitly awarded the label “baby-friendly” receive particularly good support, not only when it comes to “breastfeeding”. The St. Joseph Hospital in Berlin is one of these around 80 baby-friendly obstetrics across Germany. (fp)

Photo credit: lydia margerdt /

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