Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mother's Millk

I just read the most interesting article that my midwife partner Leigh forwarded to me. The article was a short write-up on Salma Hayek sharing her breast milk. The video can be found on You Tube if anyone is interested. The video shows Salma Hayek breastfeeding a small African child. I have felt a bit discouraged lately about mom's not wanting to breastfeed. Last weekend I so desperatetly tried to persuade one of my clients to breastfeed her newly born baby. Every time I helped the baby to the breast the mother frowned saying, "my baby just doesn't like my milk." Wouldn't it be nice if all the mothers that breastfed could donate some extra milk to give to all the babies that are formula fed? Or, what if it was completely in the norm for people to breastfeed other people's babies? Here are the breastfeeding benefits from head to toe....

Brain. Higher IQ in breastfed children. Cholesterol and other types of fat in human milk support the growth of nerve tissue.

Eyes. Visual acuity is higher in babies fed human milk.

Ears. Breastfed babies get fewer ear infections.

Mouth. Less need for orthodontics in children breastfed more than a year. Improved muscle development of face from suckling at the breast. Subtle changes in the taste of human milk prepare babies to accept a variety of solid foods.

Throat. Children who are breastfed are less likely to require tonsillectomies.

Respiratory system. Evidence shows that breastfed babies have fewer and less severe upper respiratory infections, less wheezing, less pneumonia and less influenza.

Heart and circulatory system. Evidence suggests that breastfed children may have lower cholesterol as adults. Heart rates are lower in breastfed infants.

Digestive system. Less diarrhea, fewer gastrointestinal infections in babies who are breastfeeding. Six months or more of exclusive breastfeeding reduces risk of food allergies. Also, less risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood.

Immune system. Breastfed babies respond better to vaccinations. Human milk helps to mature baby's own immune system. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of childhood cancer.

Endocrine system. Reduced risk of getting diabetes.

Kidneys. With less salt and less protein, human milk is easier on a baby's kidneys.

Appendix. Children with acute appendicitis are less likely to have been breastfed.

Urinary tract. Fewer infections in breastfed infants.

Joints and muscles. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is less common in children who were breastfed.

Skin. Less allergic eczema in breastfed infants.

Growth. Breastfed babies are leaner at one year of age and less likely to be obese later in life.

Bowels. Less constipation. Stools of breastfed babies have a less-offensive odor.

Oh, if some of my mothers would just give it a chance...


Rachel said...

There are many mothers that donate extra milk that they have to http://www.hmbana.org/

It is sad that so many mothers choose not to feed their children this most perfect food, designed by God Himself.

Abundant B'earth said...

in Peru all the mothers breastfeed. all of them! they also have their babies in bed with them in the postpartum ward. it is very sweet.