Thursday, May 22, 2008
Put Your Money Where Your Breast Is
I got some excellent feedback from the LCs last night. Its interesting that my very first official speaking gig for pay (besides the one I did in San Francisco last February) is talking to WIC about breastfeeding. I'll be addressing admin not the rank and file, so my presentation is to those who can facilitate change, yet this will be a delicate balancing act. Some have told me I'll be preaching to the choir, but others have said its a great venue for making converts. I'm sure both statements are true. Its a balancing act, because I don't want to offend them on the formula issue because I want them to hear what I'm saying about lactation. So I included a slide of what I think they are doing right. The suggestions are a little radical- like having an LC in every clinic (LCs are expensive) but as good as peer counselors are, they do not represent professional support. I'm also suggesting that all peer counselors be trained as breastfeeding educators (also expensive). But I have no choice - if we want to make an impact on breastfeeding rates, we have to be willing to invest in those outcomes. The taxpayer is getting a much better return on investment if breastfeeding rates go up, and formula feeding goes down. Past a certain tipping point, there will begin to be a savings.