ProMoM Inc. - Promoting the awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding.

The 3 Minute Activist


"This is a letter to Child magazine for a recent article they had in their September issue, called "Breastfeeding Revisited". The article was good, but needed correcting on a couple of points".

375 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10017
fax: 212-499-2038

Dear Editor:

As a nursing mother, I was very pleased to read "Breastfeeding Revisited" in the September issue of Child. I believe it will be a great help in showing new and current nursing moms that there is support for them to continue nursing after the first few months. The article did a great job at pointing out the benefits of breastfeeding even for only a short time. There has been extensive coverage recently about the wonderful medical benefits that breastfeeding provides both child and mother. In highlighting this in your tips for going the distance, as well as showing photos of mothers nursing and pumping milk for their babies, you are providing a positive influence for the societal acceptance of nursing.

The discussion about alcohol use deserves clarification, however. Concerns about alcohol in breastmilk, while valid, do not need to be solved by such a drastic measure as "pumping and dumping." La Leche League International, an authority on breastfeeding information, advises nursing mothers that moderate alcohol intake of up to two drinks a day is not harmful to babies. However, alcohol does pass into a mother's milk, peaking 30 to 90 minutes after consumption of one alcoholic drink. The alcohol is eliminated from the mother*s milk once her body has metabolized the alcohol. Therefore, if a mother drinks one drink at a party or a glass of wine with dinner, there is little reason for her to waste her time and precious milk by pumping it and dumping it down the drain. She need only wait an hour or two after drinking before nursing again.

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 five to six months of age. Sadly, 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. Articles such as yours increase public awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, which in turn will increase the number of women who choose to nurse their infants. Thank you again for helping to spread the message that breastfeeding benefits us all.