National Breastfeeding Month: Breaking down the stigma – Week 3

August 15, 2019

This column is addressing the issue of breastfeeding during National Breastfeeding Month. Stigma still overshadows breastfeeding in public which is one of the contributing factors identified for low breastfeeding rates. What causes this stigma is the lack of knowledge regarding breastfeeding, sexist views and over-sexualization of a woman’s breasts. Some women who have breastfed in public have been labeled as exhibitionist or even more cruel, as seeking sexual attention from men. Certainly, there is an appropriate way to breastfeed in public, and no woman desiring to feed her baby in public is trying to display her breasts in a sexual way. This month, the Counseling Corner, is placing a spotlight on breastfeeding to hopefully dispel some of the myths associated with public breastfeeding.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health1 provides new mothers with suggestions on how to breastfeed. Of course, new mothers will be provided with detailed support and information on how to breastfeed from their health care provider, however, allow this column to provide a few tips for new and expectant mothers:

After Your Infant Is Born, Follow These Tips For Getting Started:2

• Breastfeed your infant for the first time as soon as possible after the infant is born.
• Ask at the hospital whether an on-site lactation consultant is available to assist you.
• Request that the hospital staff not feed your infant any other foods or formula unless it is medically necessary.
• Allow your infant to stay with you throughout the day and night at the hospital so that you can breastfeed often. If this is not possible, ask the nurses to bring your infant to you each time for breastfeeding.
• Avoid giving your infant pacifiers or artificial nipples so that the infant gets used to latching on to just your breast.

How to End A Breastfeeding Session:

To break the suction and end a breastfeeding session, insert a clean finger between your breast and your infant’s gums. After you hear a soft pop, pull your nipple out of your infant’s mouth.3

How Long Should a Breastfeeding Session Last?

You should allow your infant to set his or her own nursing pattern. Many newborns will feed for 10 to 15 minutes on each breast. If your infant wants to nurse for a much longer period— say 30 minutes or longer on each breast – the baby may not be getting enough milk.3


1 U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services,

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. (2010, August). Breastfeeding: Learning to breastfeed. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from

3 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2016, March). Breastfeeding your baby. Retrieved June 1, 2016, from

Next Week: Conclusion

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. You are encouraged to discuss with your doctor any questions or health concerns you may have. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.