Home > Babies and Toddlers > Babies > Feeding Your Baby > Breastfeeding > Working Mom Can't Nurse on Demand
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Working Mom Can't Nurse on Demand

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Henry Bernstein, M.D.

Q: I read the following story in the paper: "mothers should try to breast-feed their babies exclusively for at least a year if not longer, the largest U.S. pediatricians' group said yesterday, strongly reaffirming its policy favoring the practice." My daughter recently had her second child, and after eight weeks has had to return to work and simply cannot breast-feed exclusively. So as a pediatrician, what is your advice for young moms who must work and cannot be available to nurse on demand for 12 months?

A: There is no question that human milk is superior for infant feeding. It provides advantages for growth, development, and general health, while significantly decreasing the chances for some diseases. There are also studies that indicate possible health benefits for the mother.

The American Academy of Pediatrics clearly emphasizes that breast feeding is the ideal method that will help children achieve optimal health, growth, and development.

Pediatricians should promote and support breast feeding, as soon as possible after birth. Mothers need to feel comfortable feeding and pumping anywhere. Nursing mothers should be supported to breast feed at home or at work. A mother in the right settings can pump her breasts and have a caretaker feed the breast milk, if necessary, while mom's at work. There are many wonderful resources available to answer questions and meet individual needs.

You raise a concern that is shared by many others. As a pediatrician, I believe it is extremely important that the bond between mom and baby be supported, particularly with economic decisions often forcing many mothers back into the working world before a year is up. Although we would love to increase the number of women starting and continuing to breast feed, it is not always possible. Despite demonstrated benefits of breast feeding, there are some situations in which breast feeding may not work for you. It is ultimately the mother's decision on what fits best into her family situation. Your daughter need not feel guilty.

More on: Expert Advice

Henry Bernstein, M.D., is currently the associate chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of Primary Care at Children's Hospital, Boston. He also has an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!