Friday, May 17, 2024

What Every Black Mom Should Consider and How It Can Save Lives

May 10, 2007 by  
Filed under News, Weekly Columns

Columbus, OH ( – For many generations we have heard about the many benefits of breastfeeding our young versus formula feeding. Not only for the obvious strong bonding between mother and child but also for the various health benefits as well. However despite all the advocating of breastfeeding done over the years according to a government report shows an alarming low percentage of black breastfeeding moms. Dr. Yvonne Bronner states that the culture of breastfeeding has been lost. According to the Surgeon General David Satcher only 29% of all mom’s breastfeed and only 19% of black mother’s breastfeed for 6 months, this is the most crucial time period.

Why should any of this matter to us? The reason is because breast milk is unequivocally baby’s perfect food. Countless studies and research has shown for years and continues to show that breast fed babies suffer fewer illnesses such as diarrhea, earaches, infections and even more serious illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, pneumonia and childhood cancers like leukemia lymphoma. The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion states that increasing rates of breastfeeding is a crucial strategy for improving children’s health and promotes such in the CDC guide to breastfeeding intervention. With childhood obesity on the rise research has now pointed to the fact that breastfed babies are shown to have a lesser chance at becoming fat later in childhood. Also notable is the fact that breast fed babies brains develop much faster than formula fed babies. This fact remains unrefuted.

It is well documented that in the US alone respiratory infections in formula fed babies is triple the rate than that of breast fed babies. As staggering the fact that most of these types of infections along with others represent 16% of US infant mortality totals. A joint study between the US and Canada revealed that a doubled risk for childhood cancer of 1.45- 4 times in those of formula fed babies or who had not received breast milk for more than one year.

So what is the message to be heard in this matter? The message is that while formula feeding serves its purpose as a medical nutritional tool for babies who are unable to breastfeed, breastfeeding should not be taken likely with regards to its life saving value. Formula feeding does not fully meet the nutritional and immunity needs of our babies the way that breast feeding does, thus leaving them all the more vulnerable to many serious illnesses that are claiming their young lives. If they do survive than it has a direct impact on the overall quality of health later on life. So mother’s we have the power to provide a very strong and vital support structure for our children’s health and well being that we do well not to sleep on.

Why not instead lay a good foundation of optimal health while maximizing the chances of survival for our young who are totally dependant on us to make right decisions for them to make it in life. For tomorrow will present its own set of obstacles and challenges to overcome, however we can absolutely do our part in preserving this miracle of creating life and adequately sustaining it? We were entrusted with this role for a reason and a season so let us consider all the ways we can make a difference in our children’s lives and for future generations to come. For those that are unable to breast feed their babies for medical reasons can also do a great deal to help support their baby’s nutritional and immunity needs.

Such ones just need to avail themselves to the ongoing, latest research available to find out what dangers exist, what they need to do to protect their children and with learn exactly what their tiny body’s need by way of nutrition. Thus by making good nutrition an integral part of the family’s infrastructure right from the very beginning we are saving their lives and even their offspring’s lives. If we want to maintain and sustain life at every stage of development be it before childbirth, during pregnancy, post-partum or even the child rearing stage we should all remember that nature is always the best choice!

By Makeisha Lee

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