Thursday, August 2, 2007

Global campaign encourages breast-feeding


This will never succeed until they can get rid of the outmoded (and, frankly, well-purchased) ideas of many of the pediatricians and family practice doctors in the world.

I have always nursed my children, but have had to fight off scores of pediatricians who informed me that “the baby will need vitamins because breast feeding doesn’t provide them with enough nutrients,” and “you can’t breastfeed after your child has teeth, they will all rot out of his head!” and “you are keeping your child from developing independent behaviors” etc. etc. etc.

I can’t tell you how many doctors I have “sacked” because of this attitude, how many times I have cried when the doctors went to my husband and complained that I was nursing the children “too long,” and how many times I have been discouraged by medical professionals at every turn.

The formula companies have bought and paid for the education and allegiance of these doctors—and if I hadn’t been a very well informed mother with a lot of confidence, a higher degree, and a healthy dose of mistrust of doctors, I don’t think I could have withstood the pressure all these years.

Young, uninformed, under-educated women who have been taught to listen to their doctors don’t have a chance—and neither do their babies.


Aug. 1, 2007 22:01 | Updated Aug. 1, 2007 23:50

The United Nations Children's Fund has opened a worldwide campaign this week to encourage breast-feeding to reduce infant mortality.

Evie Adams, a breast-feeding adviser and a member of UNICEF-Israel, said that if all babies were nursed from birth until they were six months old, 13 percent of all deaths under the age of five could be prevented.

Running from August 1 to 7, the event is being held in cooperation with the World Health Organization and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

Breastfeeding reduces by half the risk of a child developing type 1 diabetes and recurrent ear infections, according to the campaign organizers. Babies who are not breast-fed are at a 25% higher risk of becoming overweight and are 250% more likely to develop asthma and respiratory infections. In addition, breast-feeding during the first six months of life cuts the risk of diarrhea by half and significantly reduces the danger of sudden infant death syndrome. Nursing babies also are less likely to suffer from urinary infections.

The campaign is stressing the importance of mothers' beginning to nurse within an hour of delivery, as immediate breast-feeding increases the likelihood that the baby will develop healthy nursing habits and breast-feed exclusively during his or her first six months of life.
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