Breastfeeding has been in the news a lot this week!
First some levity:
Miranda Kerr, model and new mother, made news last week for breastfeeding at work and Tweeting about it.
Two human interest stories look at different ways that breastfeeding impacts all aspects of a woman’s life:
– This article from Boston looks at a breastfeeding mother who was detained by ICE during a raid at a factory where many nursing women and new moms work, and then release so that she was able to nurse and take care of her 13-month old son.
–A breastfeeding mother, Patty Horn, in Oregon is working to clear her name, saying that she was unreasonably fired from her job for complaining of unsanitary working conditions for pumping breastmilk to feed her infant, as well as sexual harassment and retaliation. With the benefits of breastfeeding so well documented – it’s important for mothers to have places to express breastmilk.
And there have been a few different medical studies out in the last week!
1) A study came out from Oxford University that shows that prolonged breastfeeding (more than four months) can lead to fewer behavioral problems for kids at age 5! Researchers aren’t sure if it’s something in the breastmilk itself, or in the relationship that is formed between breastfeeding dyads- but it’s more reason why breastfeeding is great!
2) Researchers in France looked at exclusively breastfed infants – and showed that they had very different growth patterns and metabolic profiles – including lower blood insulin levels – even at day 15! It appears that by 3 years of age, that these differences even out.
3) Mothers’ with Hepatitis B have been given the ok to breastfeed!, according to a study from Temple University in Philadelphia. With precautions of course, such as a Heb B vaccine for baby.
4) A study from Ohio looked at the impact that childcare centers have on breastfeeding – and found that even though 96% of child care centers were willing to feed infants expressed breastmilk, that only 12% of infants were fed expressed breastmilk. However only 26% of facilities had the ability to store milk overnight – which may present a difficulty for many parents. What this study highlights more than anything are the economic and racial disparities that exist for breastfeeding women – those women in the higher paying jobs are more likely to be able to pump at work to supply their babies with breastmilk, where as those in the lower paying jobs are less likely to have access to a pump, place to pump, or means to store breastmilk. It’s an old article – but this NY times article from 2006 highlights the two-tiered system found by nursing mothers that pump at work.