The 3 Minute Activist
following is a letter thanking 'As the World Turns' for
showing breastfeeding in a positive light.
"As the World Turns"
524 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
Three cheers for "As the World Turns" for showing
breastfeeding on a
daytime soap opera. It is odd that a society seemingly consumed
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,
and thereafter as long as is mutually agreeable to mother
This recommendation comes as a result of many studies that
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
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 70% of mothers are breastfeeding
at the time of hospital discharge, and only about 25% 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 tv show
has tremendous potential for positive influence on the way
Americans perceive breastfeeding.
This is especially important in a daytime television situation
where bottle feeding is the prevalent way shown to nourish
an infant. You are listening to your viewers, many of whom
are stay-at-home nursing mothers, by patterning the character
"Karly" like a real-life mom who makes her child
a top priority by choosing breastfeeding. Hopefully, you
will consider showing other characters who choose to be nursing
mothers on "As the World Turns" in the future.
Also, please consider setting a new trend by portraying a
mother who nurses into
toddlerhood! Many of your viewers could positively relate
to that experience, and with that you may encounter even
more support from nursing moms.
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
to daytime television.