Step 3: Breast or Bottle–More than a Coke or Pepsi Choice

Smiling Baby

I’m sure it’s happened to you. You order a Diet Coke and the waiter says, “Diet Pepsi OK?”  “Fine,” I always say. It’s cold, brown and fizzy. Little else matters in my opinion. Are you making a sour face as you read this? I know there are people who feel very strongly about their carbonated beverages! If you’re one of them, you appreciate the subtle differences in fizz and taste.

But chances are, if your waiter swaps a Diet Coke for a Diet Pepsi, you won’t be any more likely to have gastroenteritis, get an ear infection, develop pneumonia or asthma, become obese or diabetic, have atopic dermatitis or be hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections. Your gut flora (healthy bacteria) will not be affected. You won’t be any more likely to die in your sleep. Your IQ will be unchanged. Drinking Diet Pepsi also won’t make your mother any more likely to have breast or ovarian cancer.

Diet Coke is not protective to humans, but breast milk is.

Step 3.7 states health care providers need to discuss the risks of formula feeding with all pregnant women. For me, it is much easier to talk about the benefits of breast milk.  However, emerging research suggests the pro-breastfeeding tack may not be as effective as an anti-formula approach when educating families to make an informed feeding choice.

Here is our self appraisal for step 3:

STEP 3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

 3.1       Does the facility include a prenatal care clinic or a prenatal inpatient unit or employ professionals who deliver prenatal care?
Yes (if NO, proceed to question 3.7)

3.2       If yes, are most pregnant women attending these prenatal services informed about the benefits and management of breastfeeding?
Yes

3.3       Do prenatal records indicate whether breastfeeding has been discussed with the pregnant woman?
Yes

3.4       Does prenatal education cover key topics including the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, non-pharmacologic pain relief methods for labor, the importance of early skin-to-skin contact, the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding, the importance of rooming in, the importance of early and frequent nursing and effective positioning and attachment?
Yes

3.5       Are prenatal women protected from oral or written promotion of and group instruction for feeding with breast milk substitutes?
No

3.6       Does the hospital provide information to pregnant women about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, non-pharmacologic pain relief methods for labor, the importance of early skin-to-skin contact, the importance of early initiation of breastfeeding, the importance of rooming in, the importance of early and frequent nursing and effective positioning and attachment during pre-registration visits, tours and/or childbirth education classes conducted with pregnant women?
Yes

3.7       Does the hospital provide information to pregnant women about the risks of artificial feeding during pre-registration visits, tours and/or childbirth education classes?  No

3.8       Are all areas serving pregnant women free from materials that promote artificial feeding and breast milk substitutes?
No

Resources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20879657
http://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/eng/docs/2011_Self%20Appraisal%20Tool.pdf
http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/

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About blogtobabyfriendly

blogtobabyfriendly is written by Amy Murray, a Childbirth Unit nurse with a touch of earth muffin crunch. A childbirth educator and IBCLC, she's been a breastfeeding advocate all her adult life, believing that if our bodies make milk, it just makes good sense to feed it to our babies. blogtobabyfriendly is her hospital's journey to Baby-Friendly designation. Click to get email updates on new blog posts. Our desire is to learn, share, and learn more.
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6 Responses to Step 3: Breast or Bottle–More than a Coke or Pepsi Choice

  1. colleen sweeney says:

    this was genious! I loved it! Makes me want to have another child!!!!!

  2. Marie says:

    Love the comparison! Although I can taste the difference between diet Coke and diet Pepsi. Not that I am drinking either right now 🙂

  3. Mellisa says:

    I decided to breastfeed because my mom breastfed my sisters and me. I knew that when I became a mom that I wanted to give my baby the very best and chose to breastfeed. The bond I have with my kids is because of that choice I made. I am close to my mom and that is because of the bond she created when she chose to breastfeed me.

  4. Amy Woodcox says:

    I never even considered bottle feeding! I just planned to breastfeed! I breastfed all 3 of my children and loved every minute! It even made me decide to become a lactation consultant so that I could help other women give their infants a great start!

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