Thursday, August 24, 2006

Breastfeeding Controversy

So, a photo of a baby nursing on the August cover of Baby Talk Magazine, has sparked a ton of controversy. The cover was a closeup of a profile of a bare breast with a baby latched on. The editors have received many letters and many complaints. You can view the cover and read the article about it Here

What's interesting is that many were opposed to a portion of the breast being shown on the cover. Do these people not see the outfits many women wear on other magaizne covers...or how about on television?

One woman commented that the image was "gross."

And this picture was of a baby eating...and was on a magazine about babies. If it was a closeup of a baby eating from a bottle...nobody would care.

It just shows how much our society is uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding. Only 36% of US infants are breastfed to six months old, and only 17% are breastfed for a year. In a survey published in 2004 by the American Dietetic Association, less than half - 43 percent - of 3,719 respondents said women should have the right to breastfeed in public places.

And while I am spatting out percentages, here's two more:
57% oppose breastfeeding in public and 72% oppose depictions of breastfeeding on television shows.

So, not only are we not nursing our children, but we don't want others to either. Or, well we want them to, we just don't want them to do it in public. Well, I am sorry to those who feel that way, but I don't want to have to live like a hermit so that I can have my child partake from the amazingly wonderful benefits of breastfeeding.

Would you like to know some of these benefits?

- Breastfed children are less likey to suffer from ear infections, gastrointestinal trouble, asthma, allergies, and diarrhea.

- There is a high correlation between breastfeeding and high IQ possibly due to the emotional bonding with the mother as well as the fatty acids present in the milk.

- Studies have shown that breastfeeding may help protect from childhood leukemia and type 1 diabetes. It also reduces the risk of SIDS.

- Breastmilk is designed for the baby so it is digested by the baby easily. Babies fed infant formula take twice as long to digest it.

While on the topic of formula and breastmilk, consider this:

"this portion taken from another site verbatim...and I forgot the well I can't credit it..sorry.
Comparing ingredients

"Breast milk contains more than 100 ingredients that the formula industry simply can't duplicate. For example, breast milk is full of antibodies that protect babies from illness and help them develop their own immune systems. Some other key differences between the ingredients in breast milk and formula include the following:

* Formula has a higher protein content than human milk. However, the protein in breast milk is more easily and completely digested by babies.

* Breast milk has a higher carbohydrate content than formula and has large amounts of lactose, a sugar found in lower amounts in cow's milk. Research shows that animals whose milk contains higher amounts of lactose experience larger brain development.

* Minerals such as iron are present in lower quantities in breast milk than in formula. However, the minerals in breast milk are more completely absorbed by the baby. In formula-fed babies, the unabsorbed portions of minerals can change the balance of bacteria in the gut, which gives harmful bacteria a chance to grow. This is one reason why bottle-fed babies generally have harder and more odorous stools than breastfed babies.

Feeding frequencies

*Breastfed babies often want to eat again sooner after a feeding than bottle-fed babies, which may lead you (or an outspoken relative) to conclude that you aren't producing enough milk, or your milk isn't rich enough.

*Breastfed babies eat more often than bottle-fed babies because the fats and proteins in breast milk are more easily broken down than the fats and proteins in formula, so they are absorbed and used more quickly. This means that breastfed babies often have fewer digestive troubles than bottle-fed babies. (Fats in formula aren't as well absorbed, which is one reason why bottle-fed babies have more unpleasant smelling bowel movements.)"
end of quoted material

There are also benefits for the mother as well. Nursing burns many many calories, so it makes losing the pregnancy weight much easier. It also protects from several cancers and helps to prevent the development of post-partum depression.

And may I also note that God designed breastfeeding. It was how all previous generations were fed until the development of formula. It's so sad that in today's society it is frowned upon so much.

Yes, I breastfeed my child and I do do it in public, although I prefer to try to stay as covered as possible. I have yet to have any negative feedback in public while nursing, which is good. But I must say, now that I nurse I view that part of my body much differently. I see it as what feeds my child and if I am in public trying to feed my baby and a portion of that area may accidentally show, I really won't care. My concern is first and foremost for my child...not for the 57% who prefer not to nurse their children and prefer not to see women breastfeeding in public.

Anyway, just some food for thought. HA, LITERALLY!