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What Would Mammals Do?

by Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC, La Leche League Leader
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: Perinatal 2014

Breeders, veterinarians, zoo curators, and field researchers with an interest in mammalian infant survival don’t focus on lactation. They focus on birth. If a birth is unimpeded, postbirth feeding almost always ensues; if there are too many birth interventions, non-human mammal mothers may reject the baby, and there is no feeding. Interventions can include a change of location during labor, an unfamiliar setting, a laborless birth, removal of normal birth smells, stress, and more. In other mammals, a good birth isn’t a bonus, it’s a basic. This talk ranges from infant survival strategies to the importance of maternal cleaning of her newborn, to the biology behind a mother drowning her toddlers in order to keep a boyfriend. The solemn and strong message: "It's the birth, silly!"

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: List two human “infant survival strategies”
Objective 2: Describe two ways in which our current approaches to birth and breastfeeding interferes with normal maternal and infant behaviors