I think they moved the link, but this one should work! It is under departments-ob/gyn, not under Dr's, because he's dept. head.
I'm thinking of creating a webpage in tribute to this trailblazing physician. After all, he is a brave soul to go up against the entire medical establishment, don't you think?
|Originally posted by dubylyu
[BI'm thinking of creating a webpage in tribute to this trailblazing physician. After all, he is a brave soul to go up against the entire medical establishment, don't you think? [/B]
"I am writing in regards to your "Feature" article called "20 Rules to Break Now." I am shocked and angered that you would print such misleading information about breastfeeding your child. What is especially infuriating is that this article makes it sound as if "they" recommend breastfeeding for purely arbitrary reasons, when nothing could be further from the truth. The benefits of breastfeeding have been extensively researched and documented, and in nearly ALL comparisons of formula-fed vs. breast-fed babies, breastfed babies fare better. Despite your "expert's" (a term I am using VERY loosely) opinion in this article, breastfeeding provides benefits far beyond mere bonding. The list of breastfeeding benefits for baby include less likelihood of: ear infections, upper and lower respiratory infections, allergies, intestinal disorders, colds, viruses, staph, strep and e. coli infections, diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) as well as long term protection from Crohn's Disease, ulcerative colitis, some lymphomas, insulin dependent diabetes, and for girls, breast and ovarian cancer.
Furthermore, if your magazine is truly dedicated to "simplifying your life," breastfeeding should be your number one suggestion to new mothers. If you are breastfeeding, there is no need for someone to mix formula, warm it to the appropriate temperature, lug bottles and nipples around in your diaper bag, wash all the bottles and nipples, and organize and find storage for all those same bottles and nipples. There is no concern that you will run out and have to make extra shopping trips. You can travel much easier, since you'll never have to worry about finding the same brand of formula or the water quality at your destination. Breastfeeding is a FAR simpler solution to feeding your baby than formula.
I was under the impression that Real Simple was about simplifying your life, but this article seems to indicate it is written by simple minds."
I'd like to send a snail mail - can someone post the appropriate address here?
BTW, I am totally going to look at next month's issue to see whether they print any of these letters to the editor. And of course, I am sure there will be some annoying letter from a formula-feeding mom, applauding their "bravery" in standing up to the "breastfeeding Nazis." :Puke Ya know, there IS a big difference between bravery and stupidity in my book!!!!
The whole carefree, devil-may-care attitude of the breastfeeding section just really annoys the heck outta me.
New York, NY 10020-1393
Correspondence should include the writer's full name,
address, and home telephone, and may be edited for
purposes of clarity or space.
They make $$$ by selling ads, so the readership will see the ads. The more readers they have, the higher the prices are for these ads.
I just cancelled my subscription. I won't be reading any articles or looking at any ads.
I did email a letter telling them why I was cancelling.
I am so angry my head hurts
Real Simple is real stupid about breastfeeding!
The August 2003 issue of Real Simple magazine, currently on newsstands,
contains an article titled "20 Time Wasting Rules to Break Now."
According to the magazine, one of the time wasting rules to break is
breastfeeding! A quote from the article: "What happens if you don't
breastfeed your child? 'In the long run, nothing,' says Boris
Petrikovsky, chairman of the department of obstetrics-gynecology at
Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York. When you're
bottle feeding, you know exactly how much food the baby is eating, and
Mom may be less tired because dad has no excuse to sleep through 3 a.m.
feedings. 'There is also absolutely no conclusive data on breast milk's
effects on brain development,' adds Petrikovsky."
Interestingly, Dr. Petrikovsky has received a Mead Johnson Traveling
Fellowship (Mead Johnson makes Enfamil).
Here are several resources to help you respond to Real Simple:
www.geocities.com/gremarly/realsimple.html (sample letters to the
editor, the doctor's e-mail address, and contact info for the magazine's
(easy to send, editable e-mail letter to Real Simple)
www.realsimple.com/realsimple/web/letter.html (direct link for sending
letters to the editor)
www.tdh.state.tx.us/lactate/media.htm (more general sample letters for
responding to representations of breastfeeding in the media)
...missing Mothering Magazine...
REAL SIMPLE, Time & Life Building
New York, NY 10020-1393.
Dear Ms. Van Ogtrop,
Regarding your "20 Rules to Break Now": as a reader and breastfeeding mother, I have to say I was shocked by the article and disappointed in the magazine for publishing it! I have been an off-the-news stand reader for some time, but this article made me think twice about where I want to spend my money.
I don’t have to tell you that breastfeeding is by far the superior choice for feeding babies. This has been established in every reputable study done on the subject. I must add, though, that breastfeeding is also superior in regards to effective use of our time.
When my daughter was newly born, people soon began asking sympathetically if she "slept through the night" yet. My answer was always pretty much the same- "Well, mostly. I know I do!" She could nurse as much as she wanted throughout the night, with no more effort from me than occasionally rolling over. Her nutritional and emotional needs were met in the way nature intended- and my husband got a full night's sleep every night, saving his energy to be helpful during the day!
Next, I have to point out that leaving the house could only get more difficult with formula. When nursing, I can just grab the diaper bag and go! I can feed my baby anytime, anywhere, with no advance planning or work. And with breastfeeding, my baby gets only the food she needs. With formula, parents find themselves encouraging babies to finish their bottles so that there won't be any waste. Babies know when to eat,
and when to stop. To begin feeding them more than they want at such a young age sets them up for a lifetime habit of eating for reasons other than hunger.
Your article focuses on many items that are quite frivolous, and to include the decision to breastfeed along with these trivial issues is insulting to your readers. Knowing what I do about the importance of breastfeeding casts serious doubts in my mind with regard to your other health-related tips.
I would like to see a feature in your magazine that details the benefits of breastfeeding our children. Unlike using the synthesized, inferior substitute,
Breastfeeding is Real Simple.
...missing Mothering Magazine...
|Originally posted by captain optimism
I have to say, I wonder if the OB GYN is being bribed somehow, like getting money from the formula companies.
edited to add:
in the past, the editors column includes references to not feeling guilty about feeding her kids badly, leaving them for work, and having them make bad decisions on their own. I am not accurately paraphrasing, but over all, her tone about being a mother is NOT positive.
So good luck to all the letter writers, but I usually just protest with my $$. The crappy form letter they are already cranking out in response to the anger is about as sincere as their magazine....
I let the sponsors of the magazine know and I don't buy the magazine.
Check it out!
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Your article "20 Time-Wasting Rules to Break Now" in the Aug '03 issue is a joke. Breastfeeding, included on your list, is far from being a time-waster. It is an investment in a child's physical, mental and emotional future and time well-spent.
And when choosing sources for comment in articles it would behoove you to select those who are truly knowledgeable in their field of expertise. If the doctor quoted in the aforementioned article considers himself a resource for his patients, he ought to reconsider that. By his comment that there is no "conclusive data on breast milk's effects on brain development," he proves what he finds a time-waster for himself: reading peer-reviewed articles on the subject of breastfeeding. One such article, "Breastfeeding and Later Cognitive and Academic Outcomes," (Jan 1998 Pediatrics) regards the Horwood and Fergusson study. The authors of the study conclude that breastfeeding is associated with "detectable increases in child cognitive ability and educational achievement."
Additionally, please don't use male OB/GYNs to comment on breastfeeding issues -- what does a male know about breastfeeding other than what can be learned in a primer?
Shame on you for publishing unresearched dribble. Shame on me for reading it. I guarantee I won't waste another minute purchasing a copy of Real Simple and reading it.
I was shocked and dismayed when I found breast-feeding included among the 20 "time-wasting" rules to break NOW" in Aug. 2003's "Breaking the Rules". It seemed as though your editor didn't read the article. How could you lump breast-feeding together with trivial topics like how much water to use while boiling spaghetti, or shoes and handbags matching? Casually grouping breast-feeding with these frivolities implies it's not important to breast-feed. Many of your readers who aren't yet mothers might take the author's words as a green light to forego one of the most meaningful experiences they could ever have: the affection and lifelong bonding (for mother AND child) that breastfeeding promotes, as well as significant, proven long-term health benefits for baby. To suggest it's perfectly fine to skip breast-feeding altogether is just plain irresponsible and shows a lack of care for the well-being of children. To top it off, you include a photo of an infant being bottle-fed, which further endorses this practice. Come ON!!
Breast-feeding is much easier and bottle-feeding. You don't need to bring anything along on outings, and there are no bottles to prepare or wash. Breast milk is always there at the perfect temperature and has the appropriate ratio of nutrients, its composition changing daily to suit baby's constantly changing needs.
Breast-feeding is not "conventional wisdom whose time has come and gone", as your introduction states. I would argue that bottle-feeding is actually the conventional route in America, and although breast-feeding is making a comeback, it is still considered unconventional in many circles. Many American women have a preconceived notion that it's too much trouble to breast-feed and quit early on, if they try at all, and their doctors don't challenge them on it. The doctor you interviewed apparently has not given thought to the immeasurable emotional and psychological benefits that breast-feeding affords both mother and child.
How and when did things stray so far from what nature intended? From the 40s up until the 80s, many American doctors were touting the supposed 'convenience' of this new wonder fluid: artificial baby formula, and actually discouraged women from nursing. Scientists now admit how little they understood about breast-milk's composition back then. But the damage had been done. By undermining mothers' primal instinct to breast-feed their babies, doctors inadvertently short-circuited women's mothering hormones, and a lot more than just their milk dried up in the process.
Three generations have been raised on formula in this country. We're puzzled by all the violence in the public schools, and how the number of overweight children is on the rise. We have a society full of depressed and detached people. Many of society's ills might very well originate from the modern attitude that mothers can and should take the 'real simple' route, selfishly opting for convenient substitutes to nurturing (i.e. bottle-feeding). If it's so easy to plug the baby with a bottle, someone else could surely hold the bottle. Then the next logical step is to plop the baby in daycare--even when it's not a financial necessity--and resume life as a 'liberated' woman, editing articles about how to cut corners as a parent because we deserve a break, while lamenting the deterioration of our educational system over long lunches with friends. It's a sad irony and a real shame that the media rarely discusses this taboo subject. What a tragedy it is that so many of today's women accept what is essentially infant and child abandonment as the societal norm.
I wish more mothers would allow themselves to actually experience and savor motherhood and slow down enough to truly give of themselves to their infants for a while. Children and adults who were breastfed have an overall better sense of well-being, and tend to gravitate toward relationships with people instead of material things.
Do you have any mothers on your staff who take the time to be with their babies, or are all the children parked at daycare all day, guzzling formula like numb zombies missing the warmth of their mommies? The fact that this article went to print makes me wonder...
I would like to see your magazine print a retraction of breastfeeding from your list of time-wasting activities and 'conventional wisdom whose time has come and gone'. To make good, consider writing an article about the simplicity of mothering the natural way, how easy and wonderful it is to breastfeed your child.
"To the editors of Real Simple:
In your August, 2003 issue, the 20 time-wasting things
to stop doing article, breastfeeding is listed as a
waste of time. I'm sure that it was simply not fully
researched or thought out, but breastfeeding is not at
all a waste of time, and the doctor that said
breastfeeding is not a factor in brain development, I
think he needs to research that a bit more. I don't
know where he learned that, but I have heard numerous
times that breastfed babies have higher IQs, that
their brains develop quicker. I was really upset to
hear that a reputable publication would publish such
It is much easier to simply lift up my shirt and latch
my daughter on then it would be to measure formula,
measure water, put in bottle, mix thoroughly, warm to
appropriate temperature, feed baby, clean bottle and
nipple, and periodically check condition of rubber
nipples (because they do wear out). And, even if it
weren't simpler at the very moment, consider that
formula fed babies go to the pediatrian significantly
more than breastfed babies. These trips to the
pediatrician are often followed by a trip to the
neighborhood pharmacy to pick up the prescription.
This prescription must be given so many times a day,
in the perfect dosage. All this while dealing with a
fussy, sick baby. Is that really simpler? And what
about the research that formula fed babies are at
greater risk for obesity? and asthma? I, for one, am
greatful that my mother 'wasted' her time to
breastfeed me, now I don't waste my time trying to
lose 100+ pounds of extra weight, while looking for my
inhaler, because I can't leave the house without it.
I really hope you consider retracting that portion
about breastfeeding as a waste of time, and maybe
instead say that formula feeding is a waste of time.
Oh, but that would probably offend the formula-feeding
mothers out there, and heaven forbid we do that.
Thank you for your time."
now I will sit and wait for my response-from-a-can. How annoying!
Imagine the surprise I felt while reading the August issue of Real Simple Magazine: not only was I enjoying your feature article "Breaking the Rules" I was also breastfeeding my 8 week old daughter when I was shocked and highly disappointed to come across your casual dismissle of one of the most profound and life altering experiences I have had the honor to engage in. To call breastfeeding a waste of time is not only clear misinformation, it is also a slight to every mother who makes the choice and the commitment to nuture a child the way nature intended. As I have experienced first hand, the commitment to breastfeeding is one whose return is tenfold. Imagine sharing disease fighting antibodies, sustinance for growing brain cells, and a profound emotional connection with the simple act of feeding a child. As for the assumption that formula provides an equally healthy alternative to breastmilk, one might be surprised to find corn syrup, sugar, and coconut oil as the top ingredients of infant formula. It is surprising that Real Simple Magazine would find the very foods which adults are advised against consuming to be a healthy alternative for feeding a child.
Also, you may want to reconsider the use of the photograph of an infant being bottlefed which accompanied your article. In this photograph the infant is being fed expressed breastmilk in an Advent bottle. Advent bottles are used in conjunction with the Advent breastpump, allowing mothers to provide the benefits of breastmilk to their infants when they are unable to nurse.
If this poorly researched and clearly offensive article is representative of Real Simple magazine, I am thankful that I was reading a borrowed copy of August's Issue.
Please excuse me, I must go and waste my time by nurturing my child.
I bf my newborn until I went back to work, then I decided to supplement with formula. He broke out in a rash. Turns out he has a severe allergy to cow's milk. But it didn't stop there, that was just the beginning. It kept getting worse. The doctor said it made him hyper-sensitive. He had hives and blisters and what looked like 3rd degree burns over 90% of his body for the next 4 months. Nothing helped. After losing weight for 2 months and finally becoming dehydrated from the wounds draining, he was put indefinately on steriods.
Cow's milk was made for calves. Breastmilk was made for babies.
I recently read the article in August's issue "20 Rules to Break Now." Putting aside the weighty concerns of infant nutrition and nurturing, I am amazed that anyone could perceive bottle-feeding to be easier than nursing. The additional preparation (while baby is screaming), supplies (requiring daily maintenance), expense (well over $1000/yr), and planning (is the baby going to run out of food?) involved are far less simple than merely lifting your shirt. Add to that the repercussions of artificial baby milk-- lowered immunity, increased risk of childhood obesity, and increased risk of cancers for mom, among others-- and your error crosses the line from insulting to absolutely negligent. This is compounded by the fact that failed to disclose the bias of Dr. Petrikovsky, the expert you quoted to equate formula with breastmilk, who has received research funding from Bristol Myers Squibb, the makers of Enfamil infant formula. Are you on their payroll as well?
What's the worst thing that can happen should a mother choose to feed her child formula? My mother discontinued breastfeeding me after three months, and I nearly died. By the time my parents realized that I had severe allergies to all forms of artificial baby milk, I was a patient at Stanford Childrens Hospital. I vomited after each feeding and pooped only bloody fluid. My bottom and genitalia were covered with large ulcers because I was allergic to my own urine. My parents brought in a photographer to take a portrait of me before I died. It now hangs on their bedroom wall, showing a pale, emaciated little girl with a feeble smile. I survived, but was in so much pain that my parents say that I basically cried for two years straight. I could digest only chicken, turkey, water, and banana and actually remember nightmares of being chased by a giant banana. I can assure you that none of this saved my parents any time.
I would like to see an article detailing the simplicity of breastfeeding and outlining the many benefits to mother and child. Your readers have sent you a voluminous amount of information, including references to scientific studies about breastmilk, why not use it? Such a measure would help to counteract the misinformation that you so irresponsibly printed. Until this article appears in your magazine, I (and hordes of other intelligent readers) will not be reading your magazine or supporting your advertisers. I have contacted Saturn, Brita, Clinique, JJill, Amazon, Homestore, ILoveCheese, Eucerin, and QuickenLoans both by email and snail mail. I look forward to your reply.
Kristin Van Ogtrop, Managing Editor
REAL SIMPLE, Time & Life Building
New York, NY 10020-1393.
Dear Ms. Van Ogtrop,
In your article entitled, "20 Time-Wasting Rules to Break Now" (beginning on p. 136 of your August issue), you stated that breastfeeding is a waste of time. You quoted Dr. Boris Petrikovsky as your “expert”. How hard did you have to look to find a doctor who would give you such a pack of untruths and half-truths? An OB/GYN is not an authority on infant nutrition. I looked at his biography on Nassau University’s website. It states that his “major research interests are fetal medicine, prenatal diagnosis, fetoscopy, fetal cardiology, ob/gyn sonography and invasive procedures.” How does that qualify him to speak authoritatively on the subject of breastfeeding? Why not ask an authority on the subject of breastfeeding and infant nutrition, such as La Leche League International? Or a well respected pediatrician, such as Dr. William Sears, MD, of Parenting Magazine and author of numerous books, including The Baby Book and The Breastfeeding Book. Or how about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or the World Health Organization.
I went to the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and I found this policy statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk (RE9729), at www.aap.org/policy/re9729.html on the web. I encourage you to read it, and to notice all of the references they have to back it up (111 in all). They recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of life, and that “breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.” They list a plethora of benefits to both baby and mother from breastfeeding. Just of few of the benefits to baby are: a lowered risk of ear infections, respiratory infections, allergies and diabetes. There is also a lowered risk of SIDS. This means that the “worst case” in your article was very much underreported. The worst case scenario, although not likely, is death by SIDS, not “that the mother misses out on some bonding”.
To address Dr. Petrikovsky’s assertion that "there is absolutely no conclusive data on breast milk's effects on brain development", the AAP policy statement also states that “breastfeeding has also been related to possible enhancement of cognitive development.” So, maybe Dr. Petrikovsky feels there is no conclusive evidence, but the AAP seems to think there is enough evidence to put it in their policy statement as a potential benefit of breastfeeding (with sources cited!). And for him (and/or your magazine) to choose to refute (and thus mention) only one of the many benefits boggles the mind. Is that the only one mentioned because it’s the only one he felt he could refute?
Just a few of the benefits to the mother listed in the policy statement are: a lowered risk of breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis, and an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight.
It also states that “in addition to individual health benefits, breastfeeding provides significant social and economic benefits to the nation, including reduced health care costs and reduced employee absenteeism for care attributable to child illness. The significantly lower incidence of illness in the breastfed infant allows the parents more time for attention to siblings and other family duties and reduces parental absence from work and lost income. The direct economic benefits to the family are also significant. It has been estimated that the 1993 cost of purchasing infant formula for the first year after birth was $855. During the first 6 weeks of lactation, maternal caloric intake is no greater for the breastfeeding mother than for the nonlactating mother.49,50 After that period, food and fluid intakes are greater, but the cost of this increased caloric intake is about half the cost of purchasing formula. Thus, a saving of >$400 per child for food purchases can be expected during the first year.” (Italics added for emphasis) This should be of great interest to your readers, since it shows a direct correlation between breastfeeding and a simple lifestyle.
What could be simpler than breastfeeding? Is sterilizing bottles, mixing and/or heating formula and making baby wait simpler than just lifting one’s shirt and giving one’s breast? Really? And your statement that mom will be less tired if dad can do the 3 am feeding is just ridiculous. What mother will be able to sleep through the crying and distress of her baby while dad is preparing a bottle for the baby? How is that more restful than barely waking (because baby doesn’t have to cry to let mom know that s/he is hungry), rolling over in bed and giving the baby a breast? Even if the mother chooses not to have the baby in bed with her, the baby can be in his/her own bed within arms reach. And when it comes to leaving the house, there is nothing to prepare, no worry about whether you have enough formula (but not too much, so there is no waste). One can just go, secure in the knowledge that she will have the right amount of food, at the right temperature, whenever the baby needs it. What could be simpler?
I don’t really see the benefit of knowing exactly how much my baby takes in. It is simple to know if a baby is getting enough by noting how many wet and soiled diapers s/he produces, not to mention taking note of whether the baby is thriving or not. It is extremely rare that more monitoring than that is needed, and when monitoring is needed, a lactation expert or doctor can help with it. Certainly the questionable benefit of knowing how much a baby takes in is far outweighed by the many benefits of breastfeeding!
Then there is the issue of all the wasted resources that go into formula production, packaging, distribution and disposal of the packaging. Is that contributing to simplicity?
A few years ago, I managed a home for pregnant and new mothers. Most of the mothers chose to breastfeed, but a couple of them chose to formula feed. After watching the hassles they went through, and seeing how they were more tired and less relaxed than the other mothers, I decided then and there to breastfeed when the time came. I have not for one minute regretted my decision. I try hard to keep to a simple lifestyle, and breastfeeding was a natural choice.
And the bonding issue that was raised in your article should not be minimized. Certainly it is possible to bond with one’s baby without breastfeeding, but it is more difficult. And it is much too easy to just let a baby feed him/herself when bottle-feeding. We’ve all seen it many times. Where is the bonding in that?
Lastly, the AAP policy statement states that there are many difficulties encountered in trying to increase breastfeeding rates in this country. “Obstacles to the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding include…media portrayal of bottle-feeding as normative…and television and general magazine advertising.” You have let down your readers!! I strongly urge you to not just print a retraction, but to write a well-researched article showing that breastfeeding is not an idea “whose time has come and gone”, but an important contribution to a child’s health and well-being for years to come, and an integral part of a simple lifestyle. How can your readers trust you to give them good advice and accurate information if you don’t correct this monumental error?
I have seriously considered subscribing to your magazine, however that will never happen, nor will I purchase it at the newsstand, if you do not rectify this. I know of many others who are canceling their subscriptions because of this article.
edited to say "WOW CHIRSTIE, THAT WAS INCREDIBLE "
As a bf mom who is OUTRAGED by this article and the people who thought it was a good idea, but is so scattered right now that she is unable to create an intelligent letter (mine just called them lunkheads and told them they were irresponsible, money grubbing jerks), I THANK YOU.
Peace and all good things to you!
My name is Laura Wright. I am a nursing mother who has recently read an article entitled "What's the worst that could happen". Dr. Petrikovsky's comments basically made me feel that he was saying that breasfeeding is overrated. I was wondering where he found the information to support his findings that "There is absolutely no conclusive data on breastmilk's effects on brain development". If this were the case, then why are FORMULA companies now adding lipids to TRY and mimic breastmilk in the area of brain development? He also stated that with bottle feeding you could tell exactly how much food the baby is getting. With breastmilk you don't need to know exactly how much your baby is getting. Good health, wet and soiled diapers, and good, steady weight gain are all indicators that the baby is getting plenty to eat. The benefits of breastmilk to both mother and baby are widely published. Dr. Petrikovsky seems to have left out numerous benefits such as; reduces maternal risk of several types of cancer (namely breast and ovarian - both being GYN problems and isn't that Dr. Petrikovsky's field of expertise?), boosts the baby's immune system (which he did mention) and last but not least, breastfed babies are at a very decreased risk of SIDS. Dr. Petrikovsky failed to mention that the worst that could happen is actually death. The benefits that I have listed are just a few of the benefits noted for breastfed babies and breastfeeding mothers. I am wondering how many impressionable woment read that article and will now deprive their children of the best nutrition they could have, their mother's milk. Your doctor may be an expert IN HIS FIELD but after reading that article in Real Simple, it was painfully obvious to me that he is no expert in child nutrition.
Gimmie a minute and I will post my letter to the magazine....(oh, and I did take a minute to read what other mother's have written. I wanted to make sure that I got my facts straight and you guys are a wealth of information SOOOOO if you see somethings that look a bit familar..it's probably because OH HELL, I plagerized a few things. Hope I didn't offend.
edited to say....well, it seems that the magazine's server is down I will have to write them later.
((((anna))))) Welcome to MDC, and we're all very glad you survived! What a powerful letter you wrote.
Welcome, too, to all the new members! I hope you'll stay and check out what these forums have to offer.
Come visit the NEW QuirkyBaby website -- earn QB Bucks rewards points for purchases, reviews, referrals, and more! Free US shipping on great brands of baby slings and carriers and FREE BabyLegs or babywearing mirror on orders of $100+. Take the QB Quiz for personalized advice!
August 25, 2003
I am writing this letter to you in regards to your recent article titled "What's the Worst Thing that Could Happen if You…" I'd like to start by including that I have been a faithful subscriber to your magazine since June of 2000 and have read it religiously ever since. I was very disturbed, however, when you inferred there "is no conclusive data on breast milk's effects on brain development." I would like to take this opportunity to counter that statement with some factual, proven and tested information.
First, researchers say nursing babies suffer far fewer middle-ear infections (otitis media), allergies, respiratory problems, gastrointestinal disorders and other illnesses than those on the bottle (Wasowicz, 1997). In regards to middle-ear infections, a 1993 study involving a middle class Tucson, Arizona population found that exclusive breastfeeding for four months delayed the first episode of otitis media and decreased recurrent otitis media (Duncan, 1993). In Finland, the incidence of recurrent otitis media was inversely correlated with the duration of breastfeeding (Saarinen, 1982). Infants with cleft palate who were fed their mother's mild from a bottle had less otitis media than infants who were fed formula (Paradise, 1994). In peak incidence of acute otitis media was inversely related to rates of breast-feeding beyond 3 months. Approximately 50% of infants exclusively breast fed for 6 months had a first episode of otitis media by 12 months of age, compared to 76% of exclusively formula fed infants (Duffy, 1997).
Concerning respiratory problems, in Tucson, Arizona, infants who were breast fed for a month had a decreased incidence of wheezing associated illness in the first year of life (Wright, 1995). Studies from Britain showed that infants who were breast-fed had fewer hospital admissions for bronchiolitis (Pullan, 1985, Downham, 1976).
In relation to gastrointestinal disorders a study found decreased incidence of diarrhea illness in breast fed infants in the first year of life controlling for day care used the number of siblings (Dewey, 1995). A large randomized controlled trial in the Republic of Belarus provided breastfeeding support to mothers that resulted in a longer duration of breastfeeding when compared to a control group. Infants in the intervention group had a significant reduction in the risk for one or more episodes of gastrointestinal infections (Kramer, 2001). An intervention that resulted in increased breastfeeding rates on the Navajo reservation was associated with a decline in the percentage of children having pneumonia and gastroenteritis of 32% and 15% respectively (Wright, 1998).
And finally, pertaining to premature infants, when fed mother's milk, premature infants were found to have decreased incidences of sepsis, meningitis, and necrotizing enterocolites compared to infants fed premature formula. These infants were also discharged 2 weeks earlier than the formula fed infants (Schanler, 1995, Hylander, 1998).
Dr. Charles Clevenger of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia says, "Breast milk is much more than just food. It's also a bioactive compound containing antibodies that defend against infection and hormones and growth factors that direct the infant's immune system to develop fully and appropriately."
Clearly, breastfeeding has been shown to have a multitude of benefits. There are so many more advantages, such as higher IQ levels, lower obesity rates, and the physical, as well as, emotional bond created between mother & infant. I'm frankly astounded that someone with Boris Petrikovsky's medical training, isn't an outspoken advocate for breast-feeding, but then again, his education is in obstetrics-gynecology, not pediatrics. I would also like to point out that even dogs (with absolutely no formal education) breast feed for 4 to 6 weeks, which in dog weeks would equate to 6 to 9. 5 months. It amazes me that many people refuse to be as devoted to their own children as dogs are to their puppies. And as far as being 'real simple', there is nothing, I repeat nothing more simple, natural and pure that one can give their baby than mother's milk. I'm proud to say, I am a mother who will, at all cost, work to give my child the best I can offer, regardless if it's the "easy" thing to do. After all, "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."-- Theodore Roosevelt
Rebecca A. Bishop
Research Associate in the Field of
Child Development & Human Relations
Bulkow LR, Singleton RJ, Karron RA, Harrison LH and Alaska RSV Study Group. Risk factors for severe respiratory syncytial virus infection among Alaska native children. Pediatrics. 2002: 109(2): 210-216
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I'm new to MDC... was just reading more about the REAL STUPID article and am absolutely livid. Didn't read all the posts but has anyone out there tried to go after the OB that said these things? Not just sending things to him personally but... "go over his head" so to speak and report him to his governing body because of the clear conflict of interest inherent in his recommendation? He is clearly being backed financially--or at least INFLUENCED--by two big pharmaceuticals... Mead and Bristol Meyers. The makers of Enfamil. SHAME SHAME SHAME on him!
I'm not in the medical field but it seems like if the AAP and AMA recommends a year for breastfeeding and there's growing evidence for why women SHOULD breastfeed, if this doctor is personally going on record saying something so different and there's a clear bias in his view... that he ought to get his hands slapped or at least some acknowledgement from the AMA or AAP.
I would like to see a reply from someone high up in the AMA or AAP acknowledging Dr. Boris' misstatements... and THEN go back to REAL STUPID with that in hand.
Of course, I just burned up all my energy reading the previous posts and typing this... but I'll try to investigate later this week.
Just my 2 cents...
We really made a difference! People from all over were really angry about this.