Thursday, August 07, 2008

World Breastfeeding Week

Now that World Breastfeeding Week is coming to a close for 2008, I am still distressed at the lack of breastfeeding success in light of all of the celebrations! A recent C.D.C. study showed that in 2005, only 48% of Kentucky babies were breastfed. Compare that to Tennessee at 56.9%, Missouri at 67.5%, and Illinois at 71.2%.

Perhaps it is the Breastfeeding Packs that mothers receive in the hospital that are from formula companies. Is that not an oxymoron? The history of breastfeeding and formula companies is not new, nor is the distaste that breastfeeding proponents have for companies such as Nestle. In 1977, the US began a boycott against Nestle - this boycott had much to do with the way the company marketed breastmilk substitutes to less economically advantaged countries. Formula often has to be diluted with water and in such countries, water is much less safe to drink that here in the US. Among the first to join on in this campaign were Professor and Mrs. Derek Jelliffe, who contributed to establishing the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.

Not only is the dilution of formula with tainted water dangerous, but in such poor countries, mothers often use less than the required amount of powder or concentrated formula in an effort to SAVE money. As a result, babies are nutritionally at a severe disadvantage and are 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and/or inadequate nutrition. Not to mention the fact that these formula fed babies are missing out on the antibodies and immunities that only breastmilk can provide.

Most like mother herself? I don't think so. Breastfeeding is being undermined in this country by formula companies who are sometimes owned by pharmaceutical companies. The seduction lies in the companies offering to pay for seminars for hospital nurses or even worse, construction in hospitals. Therefore, hospitals feel obligated to pass out "breastfeeding bags" provided by formula companies.

Isn't there a way to stop this insanity?

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