Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Breast Feed or Else"

The New York Times has an article today, "Breast Feed or Else," which reviews the benefits of breastfeeding(for both baby and mother) and the risks of formula feeding. It also describes some of the barriers mothers face when attempting to breastfeed, such as workplace policies. The tone of some of the health officials quoted may spark heated reactions; according to the article, "Dr. Haynes, of the Health and Human Services Department, said, 'Our message is that breast milk is the gold standard, and anything less than that is inferior.'"

I'll update this post later with more on the article, the evidence, breastfeeding resources, and the chart of CDC survey results on people's perceptions of breastfeeding vs the reality.

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MeSH Tags: Breast Feeding; Infant Formula


Blogger Kat Coble said...

Sure breast is best, but there really are women out there who can't breastfeed or have other valid reasons for choosing not to. Is it really necessary for organisations to make those women feel guilty?

1:27 AM  
Blogger ~Sally~ said...

I would rather make a few women who truly can't breastfeed (and I mean less than 1% of women really can't make enough milk or have a medical reason for not being able to do it) feel guilty than to downplay the significance of breastfeeding and have millions continue to give up thinking that it's really not that important. If you are armed with all of the facts about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding and you CHOOSE not to breastfeed, then you should be comfortable enough with your choice not to feel guilty about it. Arming women with the facts is never wrong.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

"Arming women with the facts is never wrong."

Sally, that is something I absolutely agree with. I think, however, that there are more women who face social barriers that reduce willingness or ability to breastfeed than aren't at all aware that breastfeeding is best, and so the ads aren't targeting the appropriate issue. I'm happy if the ads raise awareness, but I don't think they do much to target the social supports for breastfeeding that women aren't currently getting.

11:36 AM  

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