"This is a letter to
KNBC-TV . The letter is thanking them for showing long
term nursing in a positive light."
3000 W. Alameda Avenue
Burbank, CA 91523
Dear Mr. Littlefield,
Three cheers to NBC4 for airing Dr. Bruce Hensel's report
during the September 6 "Just 4 You" segment on
breastfeeding older children! [As a mother breastfeeding
an older nursling,] I was especially heartened to see the
woman Dr. Hensel profiled nursing her 14-month-old daughter
on camera, as well as to hear tandem nursing mentioned.
It is odd that a society seemingly consumed with financial
prosperity and safety is largely unwilling to make the investment
in breastfeeding, despite its proven benefits to babies'
health and cognitive development. As I am sure you are aware,
the American Academy of Pediatrics has strongly recommended
that women breastfeed their children for at least 12 months.
This recommendation comes as a result of many studies that
have demonstrated that breastfed children have lower risks
of diarrhea, lower respiratory infections, ear infections,
allergies, eczema, bacterial meningitis, and many other illnesses,
as well as higher IQs. The list of benefits to both mother
and child is extensive.
One of the goals of the United States' "Healthy People
2000" program is increasing to 50% the number of women
who breastfeed their children until at least 5 to 6 months
of age. Sadly, though, less than 60% of mothers are breastfeeding
at the time of hospital discharge, and only about 20% are
still breastfeeding their babies at 6 months. Because the
media have an enormous impact on what we as a culture deem
"socially acceptable," your newscast has tremendous
potential for positive influence on the way Americans perceive
Breastmilk is one of the best starts in life anyone can ever
hope to provide child, and nursing is one of the most natural
acts in the world.
Thank you and Dr. Hensel for helping to spread this message