Breastfeeding: A Q&A with a lactation consultant

According to a report released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the proportion of mothers who breastfed their infants rose from 70.3 percent to 74.6 percent between 2000 and 2008.

Why the uptick?

We reached out to Cathy Skrypek, an RN certified in Maternal Child Health and a certified lactation consultant at The Mother Baby Center, for her perspective. Here’s what she had to say:

The CDC is reporting that more mothers are breastfeeding and the percentage of those breastfeeding for six months is also up. Why do you think more mothers are breastfeeding?

As the science of lactation evolves, there is a steady stream of new and ever more compelling evidence that breast milk is truly the gold standard!  Our new, technologically savvy childbearing generation researches everything thoroughly before making important decisions and breastfeeding is no exception.

What are some of the benefits of breastfeeding?

The benefits of breast feeding are too numerous to summarize, but the following are the most amazing and most commonly cited by parents:

  • Protection from common childhood illness, asthma and allergies, obesity, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and childhood cancers
  • Optimal support for growth and development – breast milk provides ‘developmental specificity’ (nutritionally changes over time)
  • Protection for mother from breast and ovarian cancers; obesity, type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression

What lactation services does the Center offer?

The Center offers services to all childbearing, childrearing families before, during and after the hospital stay, regardless of birth hospital.

  • Prenatal phone or outpatient consultation for those wishing to develop a plan for breastfeeding (often due to difficulty in the past)
  • Inpatient consultation at the request of the doctor, nurse or parents to evaluate and manage complex breastfeeding situations.
  • Outpatient consultation to ensure seamless continuity of care for those leaving the hospital before reaching their breastfeeding goals.
  • Phone consultations upon request for parents, doctors, nurses, and other lactation consultants in our community.

How does the Center support women who don’t or can’t breastfeed?

Families who choose not to breastfeed do so for many reasons. Information about breast care/comfort as well as infant bottle feeding is provided by staff. We also work with families for whom exclusive breastfeeding may not be possible due to previous surgery, illness or medical condition. A plan of care is developed to maximize the experience for both mother and baby. These mothers feel both empowered and comforted by the fact that they are doing everything possible to reach their goal.

Learn more about our services here.