"If a medicine were to be developed that could prevent the deaths of a million or more children per year, greatly reduce childhood illness and disease, produce healthier and perhaps even smarter adults, and, in its administration, contribute to preventing ovarian and premenopausal breast cancer and osteoporosis in women, it would certainly be hailed as the greatest miracle in the history of medical science.
If, furthermore, this medicine had no ill side effects, and its production had absolutely no adverse environmental impact, we would scarcely be able to believe our good fortune as a species. Now, what if the fantasy were to be extended a bit, so that we imagine this miracle substance to be not only all of the above, but also free of charge? In other words, no one stands to profit economically from its production, promotion, or distribution. In fact, the only adverse impact at all would be an economic one on a billion-dollar multinational industry built upon a competing but clearly inferior product..." - Barbara Quick
Guess what? She's talking about breast milk.
If you remove all the cultural stigmas, red tape and white noise, it is really a no-brainer, isn't it? Tell me what you think.
Thank you to Tanya Lieberman over at The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog once again for tracking down such great material! I don't know how you do it but I sure am glad you do!
I have a new-found respect for Mr Rogers after watching the elusive "Episode 364", (originally aired in 1968 - the show's first season) where he discusses how baby animals and human babies drink their mother's milk. I stand corrected on the date of this episode; it was originally aired in 1984. Thank you "MarFv"! The clip includes wonderfully detailed footage of moms nursing their babies that ironically would most certainly be pulled from Facebook today. Apparently Mr Rogers was a heckuva lot more open-minded and forward-thinking over 41 years ago, than a good percentage of people today.
Ever since I saw that clip I have been obsessed with finding out more about the much-parodied Fred Rogers and his "Neighbourhood". I think I'm in love.
Fred Rogers wrote every episode as well as composed all the music for every one of his "Neigborhood" shows. He regularly dealt with many issues that other children's programs glossed-over like divorce, war, competition, anger and death. He was concerned with teaching children to love themselves and others. In fact, research confirms that 'Mister Rogers Neighborhood' can help children develop the important skills they need for learning in and out of school. How many of today's programs would even come close to this? I think I'll be buying some DVD's for my girls to watch.
Here are some other little-known facts (at least to me) about the famed Mr Rogers: He was a vegetarian that swam every morning and neither drank or smoked. 'Mr Rogers Neighbourhood' had no commercials when it was on the air, running for 28 minutes solid. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister. One of his heroes was cellist Yo-Yo Ma whom appeared as a guest on his show. 'Mr Rogers Neighborhood' won four Emmy Awards and Fred Rogers won a 5th for Lifetime Achievement in 1997. Fred Rogers was cited as one of the most prominent witnesses influencing the Supreme Court decison in the case Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc (Betamax v. VCR). He held 40 honorary degrees and won numerous awards.
Fred Rogers died on February 27, 2003 from stomach cancer, shortly before his 75th birthday. 'Mr Rogers Neighbourhood' aired for over 33 years (that's 998 episodes - the longest running program on PBS).
"Can you say 'breastfeeding'? I knew you could." (Sorry I couldn't resist).
Please share any special stories you have about 'Mr Rogers Neighborhood' and its beloved creator. I'd love to hear more!
I think today's moms and moms-to-be are aware that benefits exist for themselves and their babies when they choose to breastfeed, however, I stumbled across this post from The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog (one of my faves) which has an excerpt from a 2007 US Department of Health and Human Services meta-analysis with actual percentages - très cool (and I'm not even French!)
Breastfeeding reducesbabies' risk of the following diseases as noted below:
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): 36% Type 1 Diabetes: 19-27% Type 2 Diabetes: 39% Leukemia (acute lymphocytic): 19% Leukemia (acute myelogenous): 15% Asthma: 27% Gastrointestinal infections: 64% Lower respiratory tract diseases: 72% Atopic dermatitis: 42% Acute otitis media: 50% Breastfeeding reducesmothers' risk of the following diseases as noted below:
Type 2 Diabetes: 4-12% Ovarian Cancer: 21% Breast Cancer: 28%
OR if you want to see the flip side...it seems to have more impact:
Artificial feeding increasesbabies' risk of the following diseases as noted below:
Artificial feeding increasesmothers' risk of the following diseases as noted below:
Type 2 Diabetes: 4-14% Ovarian cancer: 27% Breast cancer: 39%
You should be aware of the fact that this is NOT a complete list. Breastfeeding protects against many more diseases and scientists continue to do research around this topic. Enough said - BREAST IS BEST - always has been, always will be!
Do these numbers surprise you? alarm you? make you even happier that you are/did/plan to breastfeed(ing)? Tell me what you think.
Alhtough I don't recall who first shared these words with me, I have been holding onto this little tidbit for years now. It is a good reminder of the countless benefits of breastfeeding and therefore I thought I would now share it with you.
A - helps avoid allergies; immediately available; antibodies are passed from mother to baby through her milk; nutrients are more easily assimilated
B - creates close bonding between mother and child; reduces risk of breast cancer; contributes to optimal brain development; breastmilk doesn't stain clothing
C - comforting for baby; convenient; changes as baby grows; no constipation; colostrum is the perfect first food
D - digests more easily; cannot be duplicated; allows delay of solids; fewer dental problems (promotes proper jaw, teeth and speech development so there is less need for expensive orthodontics later)
E - easy; enjoyable; enhances relationship with your baby
F - fulfilling; always fresh; gives you a free hand for reading, etc; fewer health problems means a happier baby
G - giving of yourself; a great way of meeting emotional and physical needs; less garbage and other environmental wastes
H - breastfed babies are healthier; babies are meant to have human milk
I - inexpensive; immunity factors are only found in breastmilk
J - joyful experience; ready in a jiffy
K - spend less time in the kitchen (mixing, washing, sterlizing, warming...)
L - loving; you can join a fun mother's group like La Leche League; less spitting-up and stomach upsets
M - delays the return of postpartum menstruation (but not necessarily ovulation); something only a MOM can do for a baby
N - perfect balance of nutrients; night feedings are easier; natural
O - prevents overfeeding; less diaper odour; reduces the chance of obesity later in life
P - prolactin helps you feel motherly; helps prevent serious health problems; milk supply is pure
Q - quiet time together; best quality nutrition; pratically unlimited quantity
R - relaxing; less rashes for baby; recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society, the World Health Organization and The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada; completes the reproductive cycle: conception, pregnancy, birth, lactation
S - satisfies all the senses; superior infant food; saves time, effort money and resources
T - always the right temperature; travel is easier; time-tested through the ages
U - uniquely suited to each baby; contracts uterus helping to expel the placenta and control blood loss; universality of breastfeeding is a link with mothers all over the world
V - especially valuable in special situations (prematurity, jaundice); taste of breastmilk varies from skim to creamy during each feeding
W - helps mother's weight loss by using extra calories; no need to worry about baby's food supply; encourages normal weight gain for baby; called "white blood" because of the life-giving properties
X - x-tra cuddling builds strong ties of love
Y - it's yummy of course!
Z - these are only a few of the zillions of advantages to breastfeeding your baby!
I'd love to hear about any other ABC's of Breastfeeding that you can think of!
adapted by Sandra Yates, 2003, from the original by Mary Clarke, Andrea Meyer and Mary Jo Rodgers, Minot, ND, USA, with a few additions by yours truly, Wendy Armbruster Bell, 2008