The idea for this film was born out of a passion to empower mothers-to-be and new mothers to persevere despite difficulties that may arise while breastfeeding, through candid personal narratives from other mothers who have done just that. The most meaningful and effective breastfeeding support – according to many mothers themselves – often comes from women who speak openly about their difficulties and triumphs. Mother’s Milk, Mother’s Wisdom will serve as a source of inspiration, encouragement, and evidence-based information for mothers and partners.
Mother’s Milk, Mother’s Wisdom follows the stories of three women: Sarah, Yev, and Sumitra, who each face serious postpartum challenges. Not only must they draw upon their own vital resources of strength and determination, but each mother finds it critical to have a supportive presence to help her stay the course. Each mother’s experience becomes a catalyst for personal growth and healing and is a testament to the importance of having ongoing, non-judgmental, skilled support.
Postpartum and breastfeeding support are vital to the health of infants as well as mothers.
It is well-documented that breastmilk plays a crucial role in setting babies up for life-long health: It helps build a strong immune system, fosters healthy digestion, and curtails the risk of suffering from certain diseases later in life such as type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and The World Health Organization recommend that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life followed by breastfeeding in combination with other foods until 12 months or for however long as “mutually desired by mother and baby.” (American Academy of Pediatrics)
Yet in the U.S. in 2013, while 77% of mothers initiated breastfeeding, only 38% of mothers were still breastfeeding three months later (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This film will explore some of the reasons why exclusive breastfeeding is often interrupted well before most infants reach six months.
Besides the skin-to-skin contact which helps newborns feel warm and comforted, breastfeeding is beneficial to mothers in a multitude of ways. Breastfeeding immediately after birth stimulates the production of oxytocin which produces contractions in the uterus helping to prevent postpartum hemorrhaging. (llli.org) This hormone which is released during skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby(ies) also contributes to a feeling of calm for the mother, and positively impacts bonding and milk production. In addition, breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression. (WomensHealth.gov)