Over 85% of lactating women in the U.S. express their milk some of the time. Of those pumping, 5.6% are exclusively pumping and feeding by bottle, (Keim, Boone, Oza-Frank, & Geraghty, 2017). This is not surprising knowing that 70% of women with children under the age of 18 in the U.S. are in the labor force.
Have you ever wondered how we got to a place where we need laws to protect a breastfeeding mother’s right to feed her baby in public? Every state in the U.S. except Idaho, along with the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, has laws protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private.
Research suggests our health can be affected by genetic memories of our ancestors. These genetic memories are called epigenetic tags. Epigenetics literally means on top of the gene, (Wilson, n.d.). Epigenetics encompass all the processes that lead to inherited changes in gene expression during development and across generations, (Epigenetics, n.d.).
If the CDC came out today and reported they had found a medication that would decrease sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 73%, people would be flocking to the pharmacy in droves, demanding they receive this life saving drug, yet we have known for years that breastfeeding decreases SIDS.
An infant loss, whether perinatal, neonatal, or that of an older infant/child, is always personal and unique to each mother. Loss of an infant includes both emotional and physical manifestation for each mother. She not only is grieving the loss of her child, but also her dream of feeding, loving, and caring for her child.