This is a letter addressed to all my colleagues in the health that devote their profession to the care of the babies and to the board of health for mothers and parents: 'let's Do something, we're loading the lactations'.
I got my job as a nurse in pediatrics 10 years ago, just a few months after you were born my son, and, in consequence, the information related to the care of the children very recently (taking advantage of that and had been father and that he was going to be in pediatrics, I started to recycle in everything related to the health of infants, breastfeeding, feeding, etc).
Armando, stop saying "strange things" to the mothers
Spent only a couple of weeks in my new position, when I realized that the message offered to the mothers and fathers did not fit with the other professionals of the center were given: the attachment of nursing called me into his office and asked me to stop saying "strange things" to the mothers, because they were creating "a reasonable doubt".
I had already been working in pediatrics for six years before, only a few weeks, back in the year 2000, when we said to the mothers that gave orange juice to babies with 3 months and 4 were already beginning to eat up a lot of things. By that time, my knowledge on breastfeeding were reduced to what they had learned in the university: the breast milk from the breasts of women and, if they have problems, always can give artificial milk in a bottle.
But now it was different. He had learned to appreciate the grip right and wrong of a baby to the breast, it was clear that breastfeeding is to demand the baby, he knew some common problems and their solutions, and was aware of the recommendations of the WHO and the Spanish Association of Pediatrics in this regard. So the surprise was great when I discovered that I was saying "weird things" to the mothers. Things that then the pediatricians modified in a following visit, correcting "the council wrong" that I gave.
Obviously, I had to tell him that I knew not to say "normal things", that at the risk of be like "the nurse who does not know, that is new", he had a moral obligation to continue explaining things according to the current recommendations and not guiding me in a direction-of-date, often negative for mothers and babies.
So from that date I have seen all the colors: with fellow nurses, peers, pediatricians, physicians, gynaecologists and even midwives. If I even had the good intention of doing a few sessions of breastfeeding to my comrades in the center and by bit I tear off the head... all to say that breastfeeding every 3 hours is obsolete, that breastfeeding should be exclusive for the first six months and that after that age we can not give a bottle, because no, the milk does not transform into water.
I have seen pediatricians to be on the verge of charging lactations in front of me and have to bite my tongue not to intervene and contradicting them in front of the mother, trying to remedy the situation in subsequent visits to the site (and to see how, despite explaining that what they had just said it was dangerous, what were saying with other mothers). But on the whole I have been 10 years reading and participating on the internet, in forums, in blogs and on social networks.
I have interacted in these years with thousands of mothers and I have read and known their stories, their joys, and their sorrows. And I have read thousands of bad advice on our part, the health care professionals. Many of them as old, that were already old 10 years ago.
We are carrying their lactations
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we tell them they must not have enough milk and instead of looking for the cause (a grip incorrect most of the times, a hypothyroidism not controlled, a Sheehan, a deficiency of prolactin, a retention of the placenta...), and give solutions skip directly to the bottle.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when they have cracks, and the only solution we give them is for them to Purelan, and that if it still hurts, then give a bottle.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we say that the chest is to give it according to a schedule determined to let the breasts fill with milk between feeds.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we explain that a baby should not be at the breast more than 10 minutes.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we tell you that in the time that teeth come in there is that wean.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we explained to them that beyond the year breast milk no longer makes sense and it is better to give cow's milk.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we tell them that if they have diarrhea (they) can't nurse the baby.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we tell you that if you have a diarrhea (infants) may not to nurse them.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when the mother needs any medication and is not prescribed because breastfeeding, or tells you to get out the milk and throw it away, when it turns out that the treatment is compatible with breastfeeding, or there are alternative treatments that can take.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we explain the complementary feeding as explained it ten or twenty years.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when they tell us that they want to do BLW and say to them that we have no idea what that is.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when you tell them they have to give the tit just to eat, because if not, the baby will confuse with the pacifier, when it turns out that was before the boob to the pacifier.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we say that you removed jacks chest to give the food, or that you first give the food and the chest is as a dessert.
We are not helping, and they were in evidence, when we tell you that with six months already have to sleep all night and not give you tit.
And I don't follow because it does not lack follow. There are many pediatricians, nurses, doctors, midwives and women gynaecologists who are doing a wonderful job helping women to have a maternity informed so that they can make their own decisions, and that provide them with effective solutions to their problems. But there are many of them who are still anchored in the past, giving you bad advice that will not only not help, but harm.
Many mothers we are being lied to for years (I myself came to do so in any revision of the pediatrician of my children to save me some sermon), and this is unfortunate because at that point we lose confidence and run the risk that we hide things that are important. But it is that many mothers have come to a point where you are more updated than us in these matters, and prefer to hide what they know, knowing that our advice will not be the most aligned with the latest recommendations.
So, when they have a problem with breastfeeding, as they do not come to us: seek groups of support of breastfeeding mothers, or are looking for some specific professional, that they know that yes is up to date.
But not all mothers are so formed and informed. Many rely blindly on us because we believe that we have the know, the maximum evidence, and many shut the door of the consultation crying, feeling bad mothers for something that is that are doing it well, or with advice to their problems that not only don't help but that, unfortunately, are helping to destroy their lactations.
Let's do something. It starts to be hard to hear that the nurses and pediatricians, doctors, and gynecologists (and some midwives) do not have nor idea of feeding, or lactation, but it is not easy to answer the opposite, and one can only say that "not all", because I listen to advice outdated even today. It is urgent.