"If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the begining of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation or love and trust."
Suzanne Arms

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How can we save the lives of 900 babies a year?


Yep, that's it.
There was a study published a few wks ago in the journal "Pediatrics" (yes folks, I am late, don't count on me for current events, LOL) that concluded that "The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of lifeHERE is the article from the AP.

As if we needed one more reason to prove that breastfeeding is best.

Seems that people are finally starting to see breastfeeding as more than simply a choice that moms have, but rather, as a vital aspect of health.  From the article . . . 
"The magnitude of health benefits linked to breast-feeding is vastly underappreciated, said lead author Dr. Melissa Bartick, an internist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. Breast-feeding is sometimes considered a lifestyle choice, but Bartick calls it a public health issue."

So how do we get 90% of moms nursing exclusively for 6mo?  Support and education.  There are still hospitals out there that are not baby friendly.  There are still hospitals who don't have trained lactation specialists (preferably IBCLC's) available to help moms establish nursing, make sure baby has the proper latch, make sure mom knows how supply and demand works.  We still have friends, family and others who are downplaying the importance of nursing and don't know how to help or support the mom as they try to establish nursing with their baby.  Well meaning moms or dads who tell the flustered new mom "it is OK to give a bottle of formula if you are too tired to nurse at 3am".  Shoot, we still have dr's who are clueless about how to keep milk supply up and tell the new mom that her baby, only nursed for 20 min every 4 hrs, has failure to thrive and must be supplemented (WTH? I have heard this before).  For the mother with no education and no support it is easy to see why they quit.

If we make ourselves available to our friends and family members, nurse in public where it will become more common and accepted and talk about the benefits of nursing to anyone and everyone that will listen then maybe things will change.

As for this new article . . . I guess it takes science and studies to finally make people wake up and see what to me seems only logical.  God doesn't make mistakes.  Our bodies are not insufficient.  Man cannot do better than nature.  This body that can grow a child perfectly, produces the most perfect nutrition for that child.  The fact that anyone would think that man could improve upon what God has designed to be a perfect system of creation and nurture is . . . well . . . pretty pompous of us isn't it?

 Is it too much of me to hope that maybe one day we will wake up to realize that our bodies are not broken when it comes to childbirth too?  That God, the author of birth, doesn't need to be edited?  That the body that grows the child without intervention, can birth the child without intervention?

 But I digress . . .

After reading the above article I found the comments below pretty enlightening.  Mostly the comments from women who couldn't nurse and were angry at the article and study, saying that articles like this are bullying them into feeling guilty . . . what?  How can stating facts be bullying someone?  The truth is the truth, but if the facts are beyond your control then you work with what you can control. Should we edit the truth for fear of hurt feelings?  That is a bit too PC for me.  If you truly cannot nurse your baby for whatever reason (and there are a small percentage of women who can't) then an article that states the facts shouldn't make you feel like a bad mother.  You take what is within your control and do the best you can with it!!
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt . . . "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"


  1. I love this! It's just the encouragement I needed this week. My sister-in-law was trying to tell me that I should stop nursing my 8 month old and put him on formula just so he could have a drink whenever he wanted. I quickly told her my thoughts, and she dropped the subject. I will not be stopping anytime soon just because she has a problem with it. Thanks!

  2. I think you're absolutely right about mothers needing more breastfeeding support. I couldn't nurse my first child for medical reasons (she was born with a cleft palate and couldn't suck) so I pumped for 9 months until it was way too unbearable for me to continue. I was excited to nurse my 2nd and was especially excited when he had a good suck. But I had never nursed before and tried to get help. I was even told that I was doing everything right. But I only lasted 4 months. I wanted it to work, but it was so painful that I had to quit. The only thing I can assume is that he didn't have a proper latch from the beginning, which, in turn, didn't stimulate enough milk supply so he was always hungry and I never had enough. But I think I would have been able to go on longer had I received the help I needed that I couldn't find anywhere.



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