Thursday, April 03, 2008
Human Milk for Human Babies- Duh
Okay, I've put off writing about it for a couple of days, but if anyone happened to be listening to National Public Radio on April 1st, you may have heard a segment about a new breastfeeding study (http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=89271759&m=89271722). It's about 3 minutes long so you can listen for yourselves. The study, being reviewed by NPR's pediatrician, ultimately discounts some benefits of breastfeeding, such as bonding and increased cognitive acuity. It does support some benefits such as gastrointestinal protection. I haven't looked at the actual study, which is still ongoing. But what ultimately alarmed me is not the study findings, so much as the physician response to it. His final words were that he had always assumed the humans knew how to make the best milk for their babies, over cows and soy plants, but now he's not so sure??? Is he kidding? It takes one unfinished study (from Belarus, no less, a country whose child health has been so compromised by nuclear fallout that they send their kids to the US to be exposed to clean air, clean water, and healthy food not grown in contaminated fields!http://www.projectrestoration.org/) to make him question whether or not humans make better milk for humans than cows do? I hope his views do not represent typical pediatrician thinking. I was very heartened recently by the presence of so many pediatricians at the US Breastfeeding Committee conference in January, in Washington DC, though here in the midwest I have not found very robust support from that quarter.