Thursday, May 1, 2008

Breast feeding rates rising

"Breast is best" is the mantra for breast feeding advocates and they have worked hard at promoting the message. This work does seem to be paying off, according to a US government report released this week.

The numbers showed that 77% of women breast fed at least at first, even if they didn't continue. This means that the infants most likely received the vital nutrients in the colostrum, the first liquid excreted by the breast before the milk "comes in."

There was a significant increase in breast feeding rates among African-American women from 36% in the mid-90s to 65% today. Mexican-Americans raised their rate from 67% to 80%, and among whites, the rate rose from 62% to 79%.

Not all women are comfortable nursing or can nurse. The women who aren't comfortable nursing may benefit from extra help and teaching to make them more comfortable. However, as important as breast feeding is, it's equally important not to judge a woman who chooses not to. The important thing is that the infant bond and be loved - the method of feeding is, ultimately, up to the parents.

Today on Help My Hurt:

Driving for long periods with a painful back
Ortho week: joint injuries
Marijuana for Migraine?
Ortho Week: 4 announcements on various arthritis meds

News for Today:

Incubator may alter a baby's heart rate: study
Aspirin may reduce breast cancer risk: study
Alzheimer's drug shows benefits in mild cases
FDA Approves Amitiza for IBS-C


Terrie Farley Moran said...

What a great post. As a mother who breast fed my kids. I just assumed that all my grandchildren would be breast fed as well. Then when the first pregnancies came along, I realized that I had nothing to say about it. It is the mother's decision. And that line about judging! Wow! I judged for years! Who do I think I am? I am so glad that grandparenting taught me not to judge re; breastfeeding anymore.


Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Thanks Terrie,

I know what you mean. I nursed all three of mine and I used to assume that my DD or DILs if I ever have them would too, but it's not for us to say. All we can do is be as supportive as we can.

I also hear you about the judging because I had to learn not to judge. The mum in the store with the infant and a bottle may be an adoptive mum, or maybe she takes a medication that she can't nurse. Or, maybe she just doesn't want to.

Whichever her reasons, they're hers, not ours.