Breastfeeding: Balancing Idealism With Realism

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Breastfeeding Moms Need More Support

While the country is becoming more breastfeeding friendly, new moms still struggle to find the support they need to keep it up for the recommended six months. In January 2011, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin released a "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding" -- a plan to promote breastfeeding at work, at home and in the community.

But according to Hoddinott's study, some parents "view breastfeeding promotion as 'propaganda' and suggest that the 'breast is best message' has been overdone."

"I don't want to say it's propaganda because I do believe in breastfeeding," said Dr. Gabrielle Gold Von Simson, assistant professor of pediatrics at NYU Langone Medical Center. "But what these women don't hear enough is that they have options and they shouldn't beat themselves up over giving a bottle if that's what they need to do."

Vancour, who is now seven months pregnant with her second child, said she's ready to ditch the parenting books and play this one by ear.

"I think we tend to inundate ourselves with literature and set unrealistic expectations," she said. "You can plan all you want, but at end of the day every kid is different."

And while she'd like to breastfeed for at least six months, Vancour won't let it stand in the way of enjoying motherhood.

"I have more realistic expectations this time," she said. "Knowing how I felt first time around, I don't want to revisit those feelings."

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