"This letter is in response to a
recent article on breastfeeding
in the St. Louis Post-News Dispatch."
Letters to the Editor
St. Louis Post-News Dispatch
900 N Tucker Blvd
St Louis, MO 63101
Three cheers for Judith Newmark's article, "Nursing
babies: All the pros"(September 16, 2020)! I was especially
pleased to read about a mother and pediatrician nursing triplets,
an almost unheard of event. 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 Newmark 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 world.
Thank you for helping to spread this message so eloquently.