Emotional and physical trauma have a role in breastfeeding success. But even though a mother may know that breastfeeding is best, past abuse, physical trauma, or psychological
impairment may affect a mother’s ability to initiate or continue breastfeeding. Since more than 20-25% of women have been sexually abused, 25% have experienced intimate partner violence, more than 50% of adolescent mothers have experienced childhood sexual abuse, with an untold number of mothers and babies who have experienced birth trauma, it is likely that all health providers who work with moms and babies have clients that have experienced some form of abuse.
In Emotional and Physical Trauma and Its Impact on Breastfeeding Mothers, author Dianne Cassidy, IBCLC-RLC, ALC, describes the different kinds of trauma and discusses ways to work with these moms. Sometimes this means helping them breastfeed, other times this means supporting whatever feeding decision works best for them and their situation. At all times it includes listening to the mom, watching for red flags, asking questions, and building her trust.
In this book Cassidy discusses childhood sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, birth trauma in the baby, and birth trauma in the mother and their possible impact on
breastfeeding. She ends the book with a chapter on "Universal Principles of Biomedical Ethics" and how these ethics apply to health providers working with abuse and traumatized mothers and babies.
Author: Dianne Cassidy, MA, IBCLC-RLC, ALC
Total Pages: 83