I am very near the end of my pregnancy...my baby should be coming any day now. This will be our third child and we are so excited for another addition to our family. As I thought about what I should blog about next- I decided to turn to a slightly different aspect of nutrition. One that is on my mind- or will be on my mind very shortly = Nutrition and Breast Feeding.
I have breastfed both of my children and had slightly different experiences with each of them...but overall- I have absolutely loved nursing my children. I have found it difficult to find mother's like me- with the same love and appreciation for nursing. I am sure they are out there...I'm not saying that they are not. But where I live, people really don't talk about it much.
My thoughts on being a Pro-Breastfeeding mother in today's world:
So I went to my last pregnancy appointment this week and my Midwife gave me brand new diaper bag. It's the perfect size and quite stylish. At first I was very happy for the gift...you can never have too many diaper bags- right? But then I looked a little closer, and of course...the bag was a gift from Enfamil. I found it very interesting looking through the bag and what information it contained. The front of the bag has a picture of a baby nursing- but this is very misleading. Right next to the picture it has the words:
Resource for Baby's Best Start
I found many coupons in the bag for various products (Huggies diapers, JCPenney Portraits) but the majority of coupons were for Enfamil Formula. They even gave me a sample of their product. They also provided me a developmental magazine that gives age-appropriate games, songs and rhymes for baby's first year. I counted 3 advertisements for Enfamil in this one magazine, and 5 pictures of baby's drinking from a bottle.
Of course, none of this should be that surprising- this is a way for Enfamil to advertise and I am sure this reaches women all over the country. But the most surprising item in the bag was a small book/pamphlet entitled: NURSING- THE FIRST TWO MONTHS.
What do you mean "the first two months"? I strongly feel this title can give many mothers the idea that nursing is important...but mainly in the first two months only. At first I found it a little funny- but after thinking about it a little more, it made me kind of upset.
The pamphlet was provided by MEADJOHNSON- the makers of Enfamil, who of course, benefit highly from mothers only nursing for the first 2 months.
I find it interesting that other countries do not allow infant FORMULA companies to give out samples to pregnant women...there is actually an international code to regulate the marketing of breast-milk substitutes (www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index6.html). But for some reason our country doesn't need to follow it...I guess we are smarter than everyone else?
Most authorities are in agreement today that exclusive breast-feeding is the ideal way to feed infants in the first six months of life. I hope most mother's know this and strive for this.
"The antibodies derived from mother's milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer. The child's immune system is still underdeveloped until the age of two. Breast-feeding for two years might be considered a prolonged time by today's standards, but this practice offers significant protection against childhood diseases, including allergies and asthma." (Disease-Proof your Child, Dr. Joel Fuhrman)
Did I nurse my children until they were two? NO...I weaned them around 17 months because that's what I felt good about. (Mother's know Best) But it's interesting reading all of the studies that show 2 years is the best time to wean. The World Health Organization (WHO) has research that shows countries where children are nursed close to 2 years have the least occurrence of childhood diseases...which directly correspond to adult diseases. Check out their website and read the 10 facts about breastfeeding- very informative: http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/
So now that I will be back in the NURSING phase of my life...I want to remind myself of how best to feed myself so that I can provide the optimum nutrition for my baby. Since I will be nursing past my child's first year :)
My next blog will cover Nutrition and Breast Feeding information to help remind me what I need to be doing...stay tuned :)