(Including the news that Enfamil is now trying to pour chocolate flavoured formula down our toddlers throats...?!?)
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April 21, 2010...2:34 pm
Breastfeeding in the News: April 13th – 20th, 2010
HERE to go directly to The Curious Lactivist to read the entire article
Breastfeeding could save the US $13 billion dollars, US employers must now provide women with time and space to express their milk, even the new Adam Sandler flick features a four 48 month old child breastfeeding; it all sounds good, and then we find out that Enfamil now has a new flavored formula – chocolate, created especially for toddlers, and suddenly I want to crawl back into bed again.
Melissa Bartick (chair of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition) had an impressive study published in Pediatrics recently. Her figures show that in addition to saving the US $13 billion dollars in health care costs over 900 lives could be saved as well if breastfeeding rates were to meet US recommendations. Her follow up article (“Peaceful Revolution”) calls for women to feel anger (rather than guilt) for the lack of support they receive. Amie Newman however believes that it will take more than public policy and knowing about health care cost to get women on board. Using herself as an example, she nursed her first child for a few days and her second for three years. The only thing that had changed was her frame of mind. While visiting Vermont’s only “Baby Friendly” hospital recently I had a conversation with their Lactation Consultant Terry Donofrio voiced similar concerns. “It used to be that women chose breastfeeding as a lifestyle. Today they choose it for health reasons but they don’t have the lifestyle to accommodate it,” says Terry. I have to agree. Having to go back to work before your baby has even started solids is not conducive to breastfeeding. Nor is the new IPhone app that lets you keep track of every feed, and don’t even get me started on the number of mothers who are scared silly at the thought of taking their baby to bed with them. We need a cultural change as well.
Thanks to Obama’s new health care package (“Thank you, page 1239!”) we now have a law guaranteeing mothers who work in a company with over 50 employees time and space to express their milk. (Notice I didn’t say pump? I’ve met mothers who work full time and hand express. They were able to meet their baby’s need without any help from Medela, thank you very much!) What we don’t know yet is how the law will be enforced, what a “reasonable” amount of space looks like, and whether or not women will get paid for their “lactation time”. It’s a step in the right direction if the direction we want to go in is separating moms and babies. I would have preferred a six month paid maternity leave, but beggars can’t be choosers.
In the medical news, there was an interesting Canadian study that showed that the negative effects of giving your children fast food can erase some of the positive benefits of breastfeeding (Higher asthma rates linked to fast food.) The rise of celiac disease in Sweden in the 1980’s has been tied to the recommendation at the time to wait before weaning to introduce gluten. Weaning was early in those days and the amounts of gluten recommended were high. And how it was wonderful to see an article about reducing pain during vaccinations recommending that the baby breastfeed during the inoculation! I will always remember the story Diane Bagley once told me about her daughter Leah. Leah was a still a young nursing toddler when she fell and cut her finger. After no one could her to hold her hand still at the ER Diane insisted that they let her nurse her while they stitched her up. The staff watched in amazement as Leah held out her tiny hand and nursed until the stitches were complete. (Diane by the way is the graphic designer for the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition – she did the wonderful “For All Walks of Life” campaign!) ...