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New York Times Story About Breastfeeding and a Lactation Consultant

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Thank you to my husband who found this amazing story in the New York Times. It’s about breastfeeding and a lactation consultant in Brooklyn, NY named Freda Rosenfeld. Click here to read the whole story. And here’s an excerpt that puts it all in context:
About 74 percent of American mothers tried breast-feeding their newborns in 2006, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was up from 58 percent in 1985 and 27 percent in 1970. But many struggle to make it work and give up — by three months, a third of infants were exclusively breast-fed in 2006; by six months, 14 percent…
A century ago virtually all American mothers nursed their babies, but by the 1950s, formula was the norm. Then a group of breast-feeding evangelists formed La Leche League to teach what they saw as a lost art, promoting its health and emotional benefits. Their efforts were helped by the natural childbirth movement of the 1970s.
As more women tried nursing, more women had problems nursing, and La Leche volunteers — many of them mothers who found breast-feeding as natural as breathing — could not always solve them. The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners was formed in 1985; since then, its exam has been translated into 20 languages and administered in 87 countries (more than 4,000 people took it last year).
Theirs is a beleaguered profession, on the one hand dismissed by doctors like Michel Cohen, a celebrated New York pediatrician who mocked the tongue exercises in his 2004 book “The New Basics,” on the other challenged by uncredentialed freelancers seizing on the demand for breast-feeding advice.
“Some people call themselves consultants simply on the basis that they have two breasts and maybe had a baby,” said Felina Rakowski-Gallagher, who owns the nursing supply store Upper Breast Side. “The consulting numbers have tripled in terms of people who just put their shingle out there.”

4 Responses to “New York Times Story About Breastfeeding and a Lactation Consultant”

Woah, I am shocked to read of the fortune they charge! Certified lactation consultants in my country do not charge anything for helping.

I love my lactation consultant. She made a HUGE difference for us!

Nice article, horrible headline. Nobody is whispering to breasts.

I read that article, and I liked it mostly. I think it’s great that moms are finding support in Freda, and I think that any mom can use more support. I always become a little concerned when someone is held up as a guru, though. Ideally, I think we should empower moms, because they’re their own best experts on themselves and their babies.
I do understand that Freda’s presentation as a breastfeeding celebrity could be a slight distortion of the article, and have nothing to do with her. Her quotes, which focused on enjoying your baby, were very grounded and down-to-earth.

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