I'm slowly crawling out from mountains of boxes from my move and looking for inspiration on what to write, and then I saw a message from my friend Daynaof3 on my CafeMom page about a new approach she's taking to promoting breastfeeding education. Yes! She and other lovely ladies are working on organizing a National Nurse-In.
Unlike other nurse-ins that often protest businesses or situations where nursing in public has been disgraced or insulted, the goal of this particular group is going to be a little different -- to make a statement about the need for education and support within the medical system, or as Best for Babes puts it, fighting the "Institutional Booby Traps."
When women want to breastfeed, there are many things that can interfere with their success, but one important one is the education and support of the medical professionals in the mother's life. Despite a lactation consultant's expertise, unfortunately any advice given by an in-office LC can be overridden by the pediatrician, even when it's contrary to the needed practices to continue breastfeeding. This is a huge flaw in the medical system.
The goal of the nurse-in is to demonstrate outside hospitals and doctor's offices, to spread the message that pediatricians and nurses either need to become educated and trained in breastfeeding, or need to actually default to the real trained professionals when it comes to lactation. Too many times a doctor's own bias or lack of information is the leading cause of a woman's failure to have the breastfeeding relationship she desired, and can even make her feel inadequate. There have been times when a misled doctor suggested a mom would be damaging her own child if she didn't follow his advice (even if, say, he's using the CDC charts instead of the WHO charts for a breastfed baby). This can lead to a feeling of inadequacy implanted in the mom's psyche.
Currently the National Nurse-In is scheduled for October 1 at 11 a.m. (regardless of time zone), set to coincide with the Quintessence Global Breastfeeding Challenge that I attend annually. They're still working on fliers and advertising the event, as it's a plan in its infancy, but one I love. Some people may roll their eyes, but I think it's fantastic to see moms being active in support of helping all women who want to breastfeed be able to do so without barriers.
Will you be attending the Nurse-In? Can you think of ways to help spread the message?
Image via indi.ca/Flickr