Mom’s Job, Baby’s Formula

Pediatricians have understood for some time that breastfeeding delivers remarkable benefits—nutritional, immunological, developmental—to infants. But these benefits have counted for little among the feminist activists pushing ever more women into full-time employment, and away from wedlock. Just how fully the feminist agenda jeopardizes babies needing breastfeeding shows up distinctly in a new study of infant-feeding practices in the United States recently published by researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of South Carolina.   The authors of the new study launch their inquiry into infant-feeding practices in the United States aware that exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of a baby’s life is the standard endorsed by many medical and health organizations (including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Family Physicians, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, World Health Organization [WHO], and the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF]). The researchers understand that when mothers deviate from this standard by feeding their infants formula or solid foods, they may “predispose [them] to wheezing, obesity, and lifelong health problems.” The researchers also realize that mothers who expose young infants to formula or fast food may “trigger an allergenic reaction” to foods that the infants’ bodies experience as “foreign substances.”   To assess infant-feeding practices in America, the researchers pore over data collected between 2005 and 2007 from 1,899 mothers of young infants. These data, unfortunately, reveal “a low proportion of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months” among the mothers in the study.  Indeed, the researchers report “a much lower proportion of breastfeeding and higher proportion of solid foods introduced early than recommended by WHO/UNICEF or the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
Please subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.