Letter: Breast feeding - More help is needed

La Leche. Lesley Smythe with mums and little ones. (1609133AM1)
La Leche. Lesley Smythe with mums and little ones. (1609133AM1)

In response to breastfeeding story, I feel that your article on the closure of La Leche breastfeeding groups didn’t fully explain the huge blow to mums (and babies) in our area.

The reality is there will be no well informed support for new mums trying to breastfeed. We already have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. The World Health Organisation advocates mums breastfeed a minimum of six months but if possible until age two-plus for baby to receive maximum health benefits.

As a new mum, breastfeeding my baby, the health visitors came to my home every other day as my baby wasn’t gaining weight. I was told my milk wasn’t of good enough quality for baby to grow and perhaps I wasn’t producing enough.

The situation became serious and the health visitor told me I had to give up and start formula.

A friend drove me to my nearest La Leche help group. Everyone was friendly and Lesley came to talk to me. Immediately she showed me studies that had been done in Africa and also in one of most deprived areas of Glasgow, where maternal diets aren’t great and the results showed the amazing qualities of the breast milk tested from mums there.

Lesley said I was definitely producing enough milk as baby needed his nappy changed X number of times a day.

Lesley suggested my baby might have a milk allergy, stopping him absorb my milk and gain weight. I stopped eating dairy immediately. Within a week my baby started to gain weight and his milk allergy was diagnosed at hospital.

The health visitors didn’t have a clue. Their solution to every problem is to stop feeding and use formula. They are not supportive of breastfeeding in all situations.

Name and address withheld