Friday, September 17, 2004

Even without supportive boss, new moms can breastfeed
September 16, 2004
"It's very true that women could use more support in the workplace in order to be more successful at providing breast milk for their babies. In nations where maternity leaves are longer, breastfeeding initiation and duration rates are longer. In the United States, Healthy People 2010 goals are for 75 percent of women to initiate breastfeeding, 50 percent of women to breast-feed until six months and 25 percent of women to breast-feed their children to one year of age. Area South Bend hospitals have initiation rates of around 70 percent, but to my knowledge duration rates are not tracked. In 2000, the U.S. breastfeeding rate was 64 percent with only 20 percent breastfeeding at six months and 16 percent breastfeeding at one year. Women do need support in the workplace, both in break time provided for them and a clean location to express their milk. Jennifer Butler (Voice of the People, Aug. 18) concludes because of these difficulties, many women will opt to formula-feed. She goes on to state that formula is as nourishing as breast milk. This statement could not be more false! Formula and breast milk are not equivalent and there are thousands of scientific studies that support the superiority of breast milk...."

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