November 18, 2012

The state of Maryland issued guidelines for hospitals on breast-feeding last week [Metro, Nov. 14.] This is a good thing but in the wrong place. The decision to breast-feed should be made weeks before delivery, not after the baby arrives, to ensure success. To breast-feed takes preparation. Otherwise, if a mother decides after the delivery to proceed, she will be in for a surprise and, in many instances, a disappointment that she did not have adequate information to prepare her body.

The guidelines should be part of prenatal care in doctor’s offices and clinics, not obstetrics units. Mothers who decide to breast-feed after giving birth might find the process unpleasant or even painful and abandon their effort. These guidelines are self-defeating, and that is unfortunate.

June Schmitz, Hyattsville