One thing that the medical community is just starting to study is ethics and breastfeeding. They need to discover the effects of their words and actions on the success or failure of new breastfeeding mothers.
Here are some issues that they need to address:
1. Breastfeeding Superiority- Are they really telling mothers that “Breast is Best?” Or are they sending moms mixed signals.
2. Clarify the Ethical Position of Health Professionals- Are they following the World Health Organization and suggesting breastfeeding for the first two years? Do they suggest one year of nursing like the American Academy of Pediatrics? Are they following the “social norm” and just suggesting that moms just “try it?”
3. Doctor’s Values- Address the effect that a doctor’s values may have on their interactions with new moms.
4. Counseling Skills of Health Professionals- Determine what help that they need to properly assist new mothers and their families with breastfeeding issues.
5. Develop networks with other health professions who support breastfeeding in the community.
What is Being Done?
Some hospitals and health organizations are giving seminars and holding open forums to discuss these types of issues.
While more support is still needed for these new moms…at least the health care community is making progress!