Quotations About the Effects of Food Insecurity on Infant Feeding

Perceived effects of poor maternal diet on breast milk quality11: “I wouldn’t know if perhaps because I don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables which is the most important, maybe it affects her…I can’t say that she’s not having enough food to eat, but I don’t know if she’s having what is necessary.”
12: “I always tried to have vegetables because she was breastfeeding…I would like to eat well to keep giving her good milk.…I started to worry a little more for the things that I bought, suddenly, I felt recently there’s wasn’t enough money…well like meat, that suddenly is a little more expensive, and, um…the vegetables suddenly.”
Perceived effects of maternal stress on breast milk quantity13: “If one gets worried, they become stressed, it’s like the milk…I feel that it…like it diminishes because, well, one gets too stressed or worries a lot.”
14: “Well sometimes I would calm down or sometimes I thought because, also with the stress the, the milk dries up, milk dries up and sometimes there are so many worries, I say no, and especially because she was younger, and since I was giving her formula and breast milk, the formula, they only gave me four at WIC, and it was a time when she was eating more and more, sometimes it is expensive to buy it.”
Perceived effect of transmitting stress to the infant during feeding15: “I try to, when…I’m going to feed her, I try to set aside any worries, so she won’t feel them. I feel that if I am going to feed her when I’m worried, stressed out, she can’t eat. She turns over, and even if she’s hungry, she doesn’t eat.”
16: “Sometimes when she sees me crying, she looks at me like wanting to ask me what’s going on mom, I mean, she stares at me but I don’t know if it affects her or if it’s curiosity because she sees a different change in me as opposed to how she normally sees me, I don’t know, but she stares at me. She stares at me with a fixed look, she doesn’t smile, she remains serious.”
17: “I think that that does affect her also, because well, the elders, my grandmothers have told me that everything, all the feelings that we have, everything is transmitted to your kids through the breast milk, the milk, and well, I don’t know how true that is but that’s what they said.”
18: “In this way because, where I’m from, let’s say, Mexico, let’s say that when the mother gets upset or has anxiety, it affects the baby if I’m breastfeeding because if I’m angry and let’s say I don’t take the milk out, and I throw it away, and I give it directly to the girl, afterwards she’ll be restless or she’ll start crying, or like she’ll also be sad.”
19: “You’re going to give it to him, he’s going to get it…[My husband] said that I didn’t have that…that energy, you’re too sad, and he absorbs it I think, right? And…well…I think that that is the case, since I give him breast, then [my husband] told me that, if you feel really bad, then give him formula.”
Active limiting of portion sizes20: “I try to save with food, for example, we try not to eat excessively, like large quantities. If we make beef for everyone, there is a limit, a piece of beef for each one.”
21: “I would also limit them (fresh fruit, vegetables)…I didn’t put too many on the table, and I gave them something else, a piece of cheese, so that it would be enough to last for the week. As we are a bunch already, sometimes it didn’t last.”
22: “If I’d give her two servings of fruit, I don’t give it to her; I give her one, yes…The other food, well I try to, if it’s…instead of chicken I give her a little bit of cheese for the soup, so I try to vary it like that.”
23: “I was more careful if they ate three yogurts, that they’d eat one a day, because later, or the next day they wouldn’t have enough. I’d say that if we’d eat bread, I didn’t have to give rice, or a ham sandwich, like that.”