"This is a letter to Child
magazine for a recent article they had in their September
"Breastfeeding Revisited". The article was good, but
needed correcting on a couple of points".
375 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10017
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.