Valley Trauma Center

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World Breastfeeding Month

August 17, 2015

Each August, communities celebrate World Breastfeeding Month. These communities and individuals devote the month to a topic that not many of us think about unless we are pregnant, have recently delivered, or work with women. Although many of us may know that breastmilk is the best option for the physical health of a mother and baby, many are unaware of the other benefits specific to abuse survivors. Whether abuse happened years ago as a child, or you are a recent survivor, breastfeeding can feel like it is out of reach. Breastfeeding can bring up old memories or feelings that can make you feel uncomfortable. This is completely normal and does not mean you are doing something wrong. Breastfeeding has been known to help many abuse survivors heal old wounds and help with the prevention of the cycle of violence. Not only does the hormone oxytocin help mothers relax during a feeding, but it can help create a feeling of love and attachment that is passed on from mother ot baby. When you learn to trust and know their mother responds to their needs, it helps them to create positive relationships later in life. Mothers who are abuse survivors should talk to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), familiar with helping survivors both during pregnancy as well as in the early days of giving birth. Having support is important for all mothers and can help survivors meet their unique needs while assisting in creating a lifetime of difference for their baby. Emily Bernard Direct, Before and After Baby