What We Told the Birth Trauma Inquiry

Earlier this year, we submitted to the Birth Trauma Inquiry. The inquiry published its report this month.

We focused on the role of exclusive breastfeeding promotion in our members’ distressing, even traumatic, experiences. We shared experiences around three areas: postnatal care and rooming-in; inhumane breastfeeding advice; and avoidable infant complications.

We highlighted a lack of evidence that exclusive breastfeeding promotion practices and the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative are safe or tolerated by patients. We questioned why they have been allowed to dictate the care of vulnerable patients and foster a culture of total disregard for women’s postnatal needs. This is what we wrote:

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Women’s Feelings Are Not The Problem – The Policy Is!

This paper, ‘Perceived pressure to breastfeed negatively impacts postpartum mental health outcomes over time’, was sent to me by someone I love and respect. They thought that as a clinical psychologist, I would be impressed by it. Having discussed with them why I see this as yet another another example of psychology gaslighting women, I thought I’d share my thoughts here too.

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