Today, most babies are bottle-fed. Some women find this more convenient method. Others simply do not want to breastfeed. However, breastfeeding is slowly returning in recent years.
Today, breastfeeding in Europe, is a kind of feat if one refers to the usual environmental conditions, socio-economic and family in particular. For centuries, breastfeeding was the only way to feed the children though sometimes mothers chose to hire the services of a nurse. Suddenly, in the space of a generation, we have gone from breast to bottle and for half a century, the frequency and duration of breastfeeding decreased rapidly. The reasons are multiple. The growing security given by modern milk, commercial propaganda on industrial milk, the apparent ease offered by these products, the unfortunate term “infant” given time by law to infant formulas, the concept misunderstood release Women are among the most important causes. One must add to this a certain ignorance of the problems of breastfeeding by doctors by educational deficiency in the faculties.
Back in breastfeeding force
In recent years, there has been a return to breastfeeding force in the US and in the Nordic countries, whose movement is felt in France. In 1992, the average for 80% of births was 45.2% breastfeeding at hospital discharge. It is in the west of the hexagon we find the lowest figures, against 60% in Paris. 30% of young mothers continue to breastfeed after 1 month and only 5 to 10% persist after two months. Norway or Sweden, 98% of mothers breastfeeding at hospital discharge.
Lack of advice and encouragement
The majority of young mothers want to breastfeed but some resistance are difficult to overcome and failures are very frequent. The ignorance of many young women is obvious. The lack of advice and encouragement during pregnancy is common. Moreover, in most maternity hospitals, it is clear an obvious lack of enthusiasm on the part of health personnel. Under the pretext misunderstood that we should not get force the consent of the mother, is omitted from the information and talk openly with her. It is true, to their credit, when midwives and auxiliary too few are overwhelmed, artificial feeding is better adapted to the routine of baby care that the teaching of breastfeeding, which requires patience and availability.
Too much anxiety?
The failure of breastfeeding is mainly due to lack of conviction, anxiety and the many occupations of modern women, all of which interfere with the psychosomatic element of the evacuation and ejection reflex milk. This leads to a vicious circle of insufficient rise of milk, a furious hungry infant and a mother traumatized and anguished that does not have enough milk. It is regrettable that the short duration of the postnatal rest, lack of crèches and rest rooms on the workplace, poor social status are major obstacles to the development of breastfeeding in France. An educational preparation good conduct at school (natural science classes, sex education, etc.), support during pregnancy (psychoprophylactic course …), the presence of a medical team and para-medical motivated in maternities could avoid many failures.
In the United States, was founded in 1956 Leche League volunteers whose leaders are promoting breastfeeding. The League of Breastfeeding, which consists today of 18 000 instructors spread over 4000 groups and 45 countries represented in France where there is also a more recent association whose aim is to help young mothers wishing to breastfeed