The risk of a child being hospitalized for a respiratory tract disease is 250 percent lower for a breastfeed baby than for a formula fed baby. Diarrhea and vomiting risks are 178 percent higher and childhood obesity risks are 32 percent higher in formula fed children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2). The facts are astoundingly in favor of babies being breastfeed. So why does society not encourage mothers to do so?
When mothers who breastfed were compared to those who never had, the results clearly supported the women who had. They had a 4 percent less risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and a 27 percent less risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. There are not only physical benefits but also psychosocial effects. Studies show that postpartum depression rates were lower in mothers who nursed their children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 3). By disapproving of a woman’s choice to feed her child while in public, her and her baby’s health get pushed aside.
The Surgeon General estimates that ideal breastfeeding conditions could save parents more than $1,500 in the babies first year of life. That, combined with the health care associated with formula fed infants, could even save the American c...
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...ances that more than one of those feedings will be during an outing are very good.
The inconvenience of “hiding” when feeding their babies may force some to resort to the convenience of formulas. It is the public’s job to make nursing mothers feel accepted and comfortable with their decision. The public can learn to be accepting though education. Mothers can inform their friends and family members on why they choose to breastfeed. Family and consumer science teachers and health teachers can inform the youth of the benefits.
Jacqueline H. Wolf, the chair of the Department of Social Medicine at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, states that “women are not comfortable breastfeeding in public because the public is not comfortable with seeing them breastfeed”. American citizens can change this in order to do what is best for the new generations. Acceptance is the key.
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