Thursday, May 01, 2008

This Just In

Last night Bruce showed me an article on CNN with this headline: More than 3 out of 4 New Moms Breastfeed.

This is so exciting! The article didn't mention how long these women nursed their babies for, but even if these moms are just breastfeeding for a short time, it is likely their babies are getting their momma's first milk - the colustrum. This provides them with a great start in life.

"The latest CDC report found rates of breast-feeding were also lowest among women who are unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and have a high school education or less."
I was not surprised by this. These women have the least amount of support in raising a baby and any breastfeeding momma knows that support is necessary to have a successful nursing relationship. What can we do to help these women make the decision to breastfeed?


  1. There are a few things we can do to help women:

    First, encourage marriage. Of course it's no surprise unmarried women are less likely to breastfeed. Single parenting is related to almost everything we know is bad for kids.

    Second, encourage education. Whether the lack of brestfeeding is from disinterest in education (often characterized by high school education or less) or lack of access to information (as might be the case with many rural women), we need to make sure people have knowledge.

    Third, the women may benefit from the Titus 2 women you mentioned in a previous post. Young, less educated, immature, unsupported women seem prime candidates for being helped by older, more educated, mature, supportive women.

    Finally, I'll make a side comment about my first point. I was watching Deal or No Deal last night and a contestant was praising his mother who was there with him. He said she was a single mom who raised her 4 kids. Now, admittedly not knowing anything more about their situation--she might well have persevered through the tragic death of a husband--I couldn't help but think that our society has moved from considering single parenthood an unenviable situation to considering it an honor.

    I'm reminded of the line from Jerry Maguire when the football player tells his agent, "A single mom is a sacred thing." How 'bout we start saying, "A single woman who has enough self-respect to avoid lousy men is a sacred thing"? And how 'bout, "A man who has enough masculinity to find his fulfillment in being a man, and fulfilling the role of a man, rather than proving his manhood, by acting like a teenage wanna-be pimp, is a sacred thing"?

  2. I couldn't really tell if you think its a good thing or a bad thing that the status of single mother has more recognition...I admit I used to find myself being a bit condescending to single moms. But Now that I am raising a baby, I couldn't imagine doing it on my own. I respect them now. And I'd be lying if I said anything but "Their but for the grace of God go I". And Isn't it a good thing that they decided not to abort their child? Even knowing the tough road ahead?

    Anyways, I also read this on CNN and was very encouraged! We're 13+ months and still going. I would say education is the most important way to get women to breast feed. After learning how good breast feeding is, I don't think many women would still choose formula. I learned the benefits of breast feeding in my child birth class. A class that if I was pinching pennies, wouldn't have had the luxury of taking. I think that prenatal care should include birth classes so that women can make educated decision on the type of birth they want, and to breast feed their new born.

  3. Congrats Anonymous on making it 13 months! I am on the fence about how much past 12 months I will go with Charlotte, but plan to play it by ear and see where she takes it.

    I won't presume to put words in Bruce's mouth but the way I read what he wrote is... it is sad that we've come to a point where single moms get as much exposure as they do. They should get less, not because they are bad, but because there should be less of them. They should be the exception to the rule, but all too often that doesn't seem to be the case

    Did that make sense? Personally, I have a friend in CA who is a single mom. I have talked with her a several times since Charlotte was born and almost every time I marvel at how she could possibly have survived being alone with her son. She also practiced extended nursing. I wish she didn't have to be a single mom, but the father of her son flaked off.


Thanks for commenting! Be sure to leave an email address in your profile or in your comment if you'd like a reply.