New Guidelines On Breastfeeding: Doctors Should Support Instead Of Promote

By Alexie Summer, Parent Herald April 28, 08:13 am

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has changed the tone in their approach to breastfeeding. Instead of promoting breastfeeding, they are now encouraging healthcare providers to simply support it to avoid the impression of pressuring women.

Change Of Tone In The New Guidelines

The new guidelines published on the USPSTF website will still encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies however, they will not "promote" it in a sense that it is the only option that mothers have to feed their child. The consideration was made to alleviate the pressure on mothers, who do not want or unable to breastfeed, reports.

"The reason the Task Force made this slight word change is to recognize the importance of a mother doing what she feels is best for her and her baby and not wanting to, for example, make mothers feel guilty or bad if they decide not to breastfeed," Alex Kemper from the USPSTF told MedPage Today. "It's really a personal choice that needs to be made based on her own personal situation."

The Pressure Of Motherhood

ABC News notes that women face increased pressure, especially from social media, on being a perfect mother. Not being able to breastfeed often makes one feel guilty or bad despite wanting to. Dr. Karen Duncan, a New York Obstetrician-gynecologist further explained that some women have trouble breastfeeding or really unable to do so since they are taking medications. She supports the change of tone in the guidelines, saying that it will alleviate the stigma felt by these women.

"We don't want to shame or pressure women into doing something they are unable to do," she said to ABC News. "We do think breastfeeding is the best [...] but we need to be understanding that there are many circumstances that go into a woman's decision about how to feed her baby."

However, not everyone has taken the news so well. Diana West, spokeswoman for La Leche League Internationa, an organization dedicated to helping mothers around the world and a popular advocate of breastfeeding emphasized the difference of feeling "guilt" from "regret" of not breastfeeding.

"Women need to understand all of the risks of formula and benefits of human milk," she said. "What we really come to understand is that far too often, women feel tremendous regret because they were not given adequate information and support [about breast-feeding] when they needed."

Are you in favor of this new tone? Let us know your thoughts about this change. For more information on the health benefits of breastfeeding, check out the video below


See Now: 35 Things New Moms Should Know About Breastfeeding

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