Breastfeed that baby!

In International Public Health, Misc. on June 14, 2006 at 8:18 pm

I don’t know if any of our readers care about this (all 5 of you!), but as a new father, i felt it was important for people to take a look at this NYTimes article on the benefits of breastfeeding and the current campaign around it.

The article states that breastfeedng can help prevent “colds, flu, ear infections, diarrhea and even obesity….”

Later, it goes on to say

“Some studies also suggest that breast-fed babies are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome and serious chronic diseases later in life, including asthma, diabetes, leukemia and some forms of lymphoma, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Research on premature babies has even found that those given breast milk scored higher on I.Q. tests than those who were bottle-fed.”

Not to mention the bonding between mother and child that it offers.
Personally, i encountered this information for the first time in the course offered by our hospital and in some books that my wife and I had purchased. But what about people that choose not to take those course or buy those particular books, or people that may not have access? Currently, there is a lack of wide distribution of this information. The article says that “Breast-feeding increases with education, income and age.”

I would also like to highlight that breastfeeding can be very difficult due to the standards that have been created as far as finances and job situations. The writer says:

“Urging women to breast-feed exclusively is a tall order in a country where more than 60 percent of mothers of very young children work, federal law requires large companies to provide only 12 weeks’ unpaid maternity leave and lactation leave is unheard of. Only a third of large companies provide a private, secure area where women can express breast milk during the workday, and only 7 percent offer on-site or near-site child care, according to a 2005 national study of employers by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute”

Plus, we’ve found it very difficult to find places in public that are comfortable for breastfeeding (Babies R Us seems to offer the best amenities in Manhattan, that we know of).

In summary, breastfeeding is very difficult for the reasons above and many more. But if you can, do it for the kids!

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