Friday, September 14, 2007

Breastfeeding

Time Magazine posted this article, "What Breastfeeding Can't Do," online and it seems to be fairly popular. Right now it is ranked #2, which I guess goes to show the fascination we have with breasts in this country, since so few people in the US actually breastfeed. I have made the decision to exclusively breastfeed Charlotte until 6 months and then to continue until she is at least 1 year old, adding solids to her diet as needed. The American Pediatric Association recommends exclusive feeding until 6 months and continued feeding until 1 year old, yet look at these statistics from the CDC.



I suppose I wanted to blog about this because I didn't like the title of the article. While I agree that it is every mother's right to decide how to feed her baby, it would be silly for me to ignore how perfect breast milk is for a baby, even if it might not do the things that some people thought (i.e. prevent asthma and allergies). The headline Time chose seems to reduce the significance of breast milk and support a culture that already tries to disparage breastfeeding mothers.

I know I am not doing a very good job of complaining about their headline, but it irks me and I wanted that on record. There are sound medical reasons why some women can't feed, but those are much rarer than most people believe. I am so fortunate to have a supportive spouse as that appears to be the biggest reason women give up breast feeding too soon. Thanks Bruce! (Even if you are still not quite comfortable with me doing it in public... you are getting there and understand how good it is for Charlotte.)

It seems I am becoming sort of an mini-activist about this. Recently, it was reported that Applebee's tried to prevent a woman from feeding her child while dining at their restaurant, despite state laws and common sense saying otherwise. Well, a nurse-in was scheduled and while I couldn't be there, I called the 2 Applebee's nearest to where I live and made sure they know about the law in FL. Of course, I did this in a respectful way letting them know I just wanted to make sure they understood nursing mom's rights. To their credit, while neither were aware of the FL law, they agreed it was appropriate and would not try to restrict any nursing mother from feeding her child.

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