Is breastfeeding a trend or the new standard? by Brittney Kirton

Posted on November 6, 2012

breastfeeding trend

Is breastfeeding a trend or the new standard?

For National Breastfeeding Week, I wrote a piece that was featured on-line from the Straight.

In recent years, you may have noticed more discussion regarding breastfeeding in the news, on TV, out in public, and in social media. There are frequent reports covering some hot topic issues such as music artist Pink getting in a fight over her right to breastfeed in public. Salma Hayek was also reported to have nursed a malnourished infant on camera in Sierra Leone while on a UNICEF-sponsored trip. And, of course, there was that cover of Time magazine depicting a mother breastfeeding her three-year-old child. Ultimately the prevalence of breastfeeding in North America has changed substantially over the last 100 years, and rightly so. Every woman should not only have the right to breastfeed her children, but she should feel encouraged by society and her peers to do so.

Historically, breastfeeding was how infants and children received all of their nourishment. Unfortunately, in the late 1860s, social stigma started to equate breastfeeding with low social status, and as a result, the first commercial infant formula was introduced in Germany in 1867. The U.S. followed suit when infant formula was first produced in the late 1920s under the name of Similac (named for “similar to lactation”). By 1950, 50 percent of infants in North America were on formula. By 1970, this number grew to over 75 percent formula-fed North American infants.

In 2003, due to the research proving the superiority of breast milk to formula in regards to both physical and mental health, 73 percent of Canadian mothers began breastfeeding their children. But out of these women, only 31 percent continued to breastfeed past five months, even though the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding, along with appropriate complementary feeding, for two or more years. It is speculated that the reason women are unsuccessful with prolonged breastfeeding is because many women today don’t have older generations to look to for guidance and support, as the vast majority were raised on formula.

Today, more and more women are opening up to the idea of breastfeeding. With the implementation of mommy groups, breastfeeding support groups, mothers breastfeeding in public, nursing and family rooms in malls and other public places, and even breastfeeding sit-ins in retaliation to being told not to breastfeed publicly, now is truly the time for this generation of young mothers to embrace breastfeeding.

But it’s not just everyday moms joining this movement; celebrity moms are participating in the discussion by openly voicing their opinions and experiences with breastfeeding. In a Golden Globes acceptance speech, Mary Louise Parker thanked her “newborn son for making [her] boobs looks so good in [her] dress”. Angelina Jolie was featured on the cover of W magazine nursing one of her twins, dad Brad Pitt having taken the photo. Naomi Watts spoke to David Letterman about her “mommy brain”, which she referred to as a “lactose lobotomy”. Modern Family’s Julie Bowen proudly showed a photo of herself breastfeeding her twins in double football hold on the George Lopez show. Even Jersey Shore’s new young mom Snooki has tweeted about how much she enjoys breastfeeding her new son. The list of celebrity breastfeeding endorsements continues, proving that breastfeeding shouldn’t just be considered a fad, but a standard.

With celebrity trends heavily influencing today’s youth, and with the medical evidence that nature had it right all along, we can only assume that breastfeeding rates will continue to increase. The only question that remains is will the stigma rise as well, or will new moms be able to seize their right to not only nourish their young wherever they choose, but also be able to lead future generations of mothers by example?

About Brittney Kirton IBCLC, RHN

About Life Stages Feeding

I had two passions growing up: health and wellness, and working with children. In 2007, I started studies at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. CSNN helped me develop a wide base knowledge on many dietary issues though my interest and experience lies in working with pre and post natal clients, infant and childhood nutrition, and those suffering from allergic, inflammatory, and digestive conditions.

While I enjoyed clinical practice as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I missed working closely with children, especially infants. In 2008 I was introduced to a Postpartum Doula and was intrigued by the support they offered and knew I wanted to combine practices. In order to support new mothers further, I enrolled in The Breastfeeding Course for Healthcare Practitioners offered at Douglas College. This program inspired me to take her studies in Breastfeeding further. Six months later, I relocated to the United States to attend the University of California San Diego Lactation Consultant Program. I completed my studies and received the designation of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2011.

I strive to provide my clients with current, fact-based feeding and nutrition advice for each and every Life Stage.

Brittney Kirton IBCLC, RHN


Lactation Consultant

What is a Lactation Consultant?
TThe International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) credential identifies a knowledgeable and experienced member of the maternal-child health team who has specialized skills in breastfeeding management and care.

IBCLCs have passed a rigorous examination that demonstrates the ability to provide knowledgeable, comprehensive lactation and breastfeeding care. Attainment of the IBCLC credential signifies that the practitioner has demonstrated knowledge to:

  • Work together with mothers to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems
  • Collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide comprehensive care that protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding
  • Encourage a social environment that supports breastfeeding families
  • Educate families, health professionals and policy makers about the far-reaching and long-lasting value of breastfeeding as a global public health imperative.

International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

What can an IBCLC help with:

  • Assistance with breastfeeding positions and latch techniques
  • Breastfeeding education and support
  • Infant feeding and supplementation plans
  • Management of breast and nipple issues (nipple pain, engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis)
  • Strategies for increasing and decreasing milk production
  • Strategies for weaning and introduction to solids foods
  • Strategies for returning to work (pumping, feeding schedules, introducing bottles)
  • Nutrition advice for breastfeeding mothers
  • Inducting lactation and relactation
  • Assistance transitioning infant from bottle to breast
  • And much more

Home Consultation - Initial Visit (90 minutes) - $130.00
Subsequent Visits (60 minutes) - $80.00

Registred Holistic Nutritionist

A Holistic Nutritionist is someone who uses food as a means for preventing disease and working to reduce the symptoms of disease by ensuring the body is receiving enough nutrients in order to heal itself. Holistic Nutrition bases itself around the principles of allowing food be your medicine. This is achieved through a diet rich in natural whole foods, supplementation, and lifestyle changes.


  • Group Health Seminars
  • Grocery Store Tours
  • Lifestyle Assessments
  • Meal Plans
  • Nurti-System Profiles
  • Nutritional Consulting
  • Cooking Instruction

Initial Clinic Consultation Package
This includes 2 separate consultations: (first visit 45 minutes) (second visit 30 minutes) The first visit includes assessment and information gathering to put together diets, meal plans, etc.
The second visit is to provide the client with this information 2 weeks of email / telephone support is also included $150.00
Nutrition Consultations (no meal plans) and Subsequent Consultations (45 minutes) $75.00

Holistic Nutritional Consulting is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure disease. If you believe you may have a health condition, see a medical or naturopathic doctor.

Postpartum Doula

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.


Freshly Expressed Milk

  • Warm room 73-77°F / 23-25°C 4 hours
  • Room temperature 66-72°F / 19-22°C 6-10 hours
  • Insulated cooler / icepacks 59°F / 15°C 24 hours


Placentophagy and Placenta Encapsulation

by Debra Woods

Placentophagy is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after birth.

Placenta Encapsulation is the process of preparing placenta into capsules for ingestion.

View Article

Project Two


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Contact Details

P: (778) 847-6464


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