96% of Australian Women want to Breastfeed.
By three months 35% of them will have partially or completely moved to formula.
At 5 months - a whole month before public health bodies recommend introducing solid foods, only 15% of babies are exclusively breastfed.
So what's going on?
We live in a culture where the odds are stacked against us.
We live in a culture that is following a recipe for mass breastfeeding failure.
This recipe will gaurantee a minimum halving of breastfeeding rates between initiation and 3 months of age.
If you require a higher failure rate, please see the tips to increase yield at the end.
Ensure that there are no accurate pre-birth breastfeeding information classes offered to pregnant women.
1measure of medicalised birth
1 measure of unnecessary mother-baby separation in hospital
1 badly trained midwife, nurse or LC manhandling your baby or your breast whilst they "teach you" how to latch
1 lack of in home follow up care (with continuity)
Multiple condescending comments about "having enough milk"
A general belief that breastfeeding is difficult or painful
Multiple measures of health professionals who have very little training in breastfeeding, but will never admit that
1 health professional who is personally biased against breastfeeding
1 culture of health professional "training" that is sponsored by formula companies
1 culture of financial kickbacks to health professionals or hospitals recomending a particular formula
Multiple measures of health professionals with no training in accurate tongue and lip tie assessment insisting your baby does not have ties
1 health professional who "does not believe in" tongue and lip ties
Multiple health professionals who only care about how the latch looks
1 culture that believes almost every medication is incompatible with breastfeeding
1 culture of doctors perscribing medication for everything
1 culture of breasts being for sex or advertising
1 culture of breastmilk being seen as "bodily fluids" and therefore easily disease ridden
Multiple media articles and badly done studies pushing the "dangers" of breastmilk sharing
1 culture where it is perfectly normal to cross-species feed, giving human's animal milk, but not to cross-nurse between humans
1 historical culture of oppressing wet nurses
1 historical culture of formula being the "sophisticated" "modern" or "western" thing to do
Multiple historical and current social pressures to "get your body back" and "not ruin your breasts"
1 century of formula advertising specifically sharing for and exploiting mothers fears
1 decade of formula companies pitting mothers against each other (so we won't rally together and demand a better product)
1 century of formula advertising claiming their product is "the closest to breastmilk"
2 generations of elders who were taught that formula was as good as breastmilk
50 years of tv, movies and advertising showing bottle fed babies
1 Hijacking of world breastfeeding week with #FedIsBest
4 generations of early solid food introduction
Multiple health professionals recomending early solid food introduction or the inclusion of rice cereal in milk
Multiple societal myths that formula or rice-cereal ladened milk will help baby to sleep longer
Multiple measures of misdiagnosing reflux, allergies or lack of weight gain
Multiple generations of health professionals using formula fed baby weight charts as the "norm"
4 generations of scheduled feeding
Multiple baby-care books, blogs and peadatricians recommending scheduled feeds, warning against letting the baby "use you as a pacifier" and insisting on seperate beds or bedrooms (with or without scheduled sleep)
1 century of behaviourisim convincing us that babies are "manipulative" and must be "trained" to work on our schedule
Widespread ignorance of the size of babies stomach, their metabolisims and the difference in metabolising formula compared breastmilk
Widespread belief that bottle feeding is easier or more convineint
1 formula lobby that has to constantly have governments crack down on it's unethical marketing
1 formula lobby that cares more about sales than about babies lives
1 western assumption that the "dangers" of formula only apply in developing countries (they don't)
A complete lack of understanding of the public health impacts of breastfeeding and why we should care how other people feed their babies
1-2 Studies that claim to show that all the pro-breastfeeding literature is false, referenced in articles, and Op Eds of major news publications
Regular media pieces about how horrible breasstfeeding advocates are
Constant social media claims of information sharing being judgement or shaming
Constant anecdotes about formula fed babies that "are fine" or even "healthier" than their breastfeed sibling/peers
A handful of breastfeeding advocates who are just being jerks
Weekly cases of mothers being harased for breastfeeding in public
Constant social media calls for being "discreeet" or "just staying home" because other people's comfort matters more than a babies needs
1 or more ass-hat trolls equating breastfeeding with, defecation, sex or pedophilia
1 boss who violates your legal right to pumping breaks in a clean and private location
A handful of ass-hat co-workers making "moo" sounds, calling you disgusting or putting your milk in their tea
Multiple instances of child carers (both family and professional - including health professional) throwing out pumped milk and feeding the baby formula
Multiple measures of ads for products that will "reassure you" that you are making enough milk
Constant questioning and undermining of your belief that you are making enough milk from health professionals, family and perfect strangers
A widespread misbelief that a pump is as or more effective at milk extraction than a baby
Suggestions to supplement at the tiniest bump in the road
Constant pressure for baby to measure in the top half of the weight range charts
Multiple comments from family, friends and strangers about "letting someone else have the chance to feed the baby" in order to "bond"
A belief that not giving in to these people's ridiculous demands makes you selfish
A cultural bias against room-sharing and bed-sharing
A cultural expectation of going back to work at 6 months or earlier
60 years of the suburb, isolating new mothers from practical help
30 years of the "supermum" myth, able to do everything for herself and needing no rest post-birth
Combine any or all ingredients together and let marinate
Tips for increased yield
A complete lack of government financial assistance for parents combined with a high divorce rate and a super high cost of living
A social bias against stay at home mothers
Tying financial assistance to workplace or day care participation
No minimum wage
No maternity leave (paid or unpaid)
Free formula samples sent to your house
Free formula handouts at maternity hospitals
Hi I'm Nicole