" The October issue of Parent's
magazine had an article on alcohol
and breastfeeding. There was also a full article on nursing
on page 115 of Parents, as well."
Ann Pleshette Murphy, Editor In Chief
P.O. Box 3042
Dear Ms. Murphy
Three cheers for the article, "Nursing Know-how,"
in your October issue! 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 you noted, 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 article 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
a child, and nursing is one of the most natural acts in the
you for helping to spread this message so eloquently.