Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things I learned during the lactation counselor training

logo taken from Latch website

I am humbled!

Just finished my lactation counselor training through L.A.T.C.H., a breastfeeding support group that aims to provide encouragement and information to nursing moms.  I am honored to be chosen as one of their trainees and it is a joy to be surrounded by like minded women.  Despite having read a lot about breastfeeding, I learned many new things which I am eager to share with my future counselees.  Here are a few of my favorite facts about breastfeeding that I took home from my training

1. Long term breastfed babies get as much as additional 8 IQ points.  Hopefully this will help Ben in the future, hehe!

2. A smokers breastmilk is actually even better than formula.  Would you believe that? of course, SMOKING AROUND THE BABY is NOT ALLOWED!

3. Only 1 percent of moms are medically incapable of producing enough milk.  I like this because a) there is such as actual low milk supply so one should be sensitive to mom who claim to have supply issues and b) since it's only 1%, it means most moms are capable of breastfeeding with proper info and support.

4. Breastmilk is medically, the ONLY type of milk a person really needs in his/her lifetime. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, formula is only given to infants less than a year old if necessary.  Once a child turns 1, he/she can actually get his calcium and other nutrional requirements from non-dairy sources. Or if desired, fresh cow's milk can be offered. why is toddler formula not preferred? They contain too much sugar and other additives, leading to possible obesity and dependence to milk for calories which should be provided by a well balanced diet.   Breastmilk is the standard by which all types of milk are being compared to.  Whatever they claim to have to improve brain development, breastmilk has them too in a natural and easily digestible form.

5, Children get sick, whether breastfed or not.   The difference is breastfed children get sick less often and recover faster.  It's not a miracle worker but it's effects can be felt even after weaning, especially if you breastfed  long term.  I now have more admiration for moms who are into child-led weaning. True, it might be tough but the brave moms who goes through it has faith that a child knows when he/she is ready.  There was a case when a mom was wondering whether her child will ever wean, only to discover later on that her child had complicated health issues and that their extended breastfeeding greatly helped in the recovery.

I'm sure I'll learn even more as I start my journey being a cheerleader to other nursing moms.  Thank you Lord, Our Lady of La Leche and LATCH for the opportunity to fall in love with breastfeeding all over again!

For more information about L.A.T.C.H,  visit their website here:)

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