A breast pump can be a very helpful tool when it comes to breastfeeding. But please keep in mind that not every mother needs a pump. Here are some reasons a mom may need to pump:
- A mother whose baby is not nursing well (or not nursing at all). A quality pump is the best way to maintain milk supply in this situation.
- A mother who needs to increase milk supply or is inducing lactation for an adopted baby. In these situations, a pump is not absolutely necessary but can certainly speed the process.
- A mother who plans to return to full- or part-time work and wants to provide her milk for baby.
- A mother who is planning occasional separations from baby for more than a couple of hours.
- A mother who wants to offer expressed milk for other reasons.
If you find that a pump is a must have tool in your situation, please consider the company you are supporting by buying their product. Not all pump manufacturers comply with the WHO-CODE.
The primary purpose of the “WHO-CODE” is to protect mothers and babies from the highly effective, aggressive and predatory marketing of substitutes for breastfeeding (i.e. infant formula, bottles, artificial nipples) at the most vulnerable period of their lives, the birth of a new baby.
The truth is, studies show that in areas where formula and bottles are marketed heavily, breastfeeding rates go down, and infection, disease and mortality go up. This happens in countries around the globe and it is not dependent on a country’s economic status. The “WHO-CODE” is short for the World Health Organization’s International Code of the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. There are many countries that have enacted legislation implementing all or many of the provisions of the Code, but the U.S. has not. Due to the fact that “The Code” is a voluntary pledge, it is easy for countries to say they uphold the code even when they don’t enforce the following stipulations:
- No advertising of breast milk substitutes to families.
- No free samples or supplies in the health care system.
- No promotion of products through health care facilities, including no free or low-cost formula.
- No contact between marketing personnel and mothers.
- No gifts or personal samples to health workers.
- No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants, on the labels or the product.
- Information to health workers should be scientific and factual only.
- All information on artificial feeding, including labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding and the costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding.
- Unsuitable products should not be promoted for babies.
- All products should be of high quality and take account of the climate and storage conditions of the country where they are used.
Personally, there is no doubt in my mind that I want to support companies (Simplisse, Ameda, Hygia) that don’t sabotage a mother’s chances at succeeding at breastfeeding. You can do your part by boycotting those companies that refuse to comply with the WHO-CODE.