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Here is my letter. the email address you supplied didn't work. I had to send mine to the editor.

Dear Editor,

This letter is for Dr Betty Lowe, in ref to an advice
column she wrote Sept 23, 2003.

Dear Dr Lowe,

You advice article from Monday, September 22, 2003,
contains some positive breastfeeding information.
Unfortunately, it also contains quite a bit of
erroneous information.

" First, breast milk is the most complete food for
infants."

Fact: Breastmilk is also a complete food for the older
baby and the toddler who is just starting to show a
limited interest in solid food.

" Another interesting point in today's climate of
increasing obesity is that breast-fed infants are less
likely to be obese. This probably has to do with the
caloric mix of breast milk and amount that the baby
takes."

Fact: the makeup of breastmilk increases the size of
fat cells without increasing the number of them as
artificial baby milk (ABM) does.

"It has been recommended by the American Academy of
Pediatrics and others that infants be fed only breast
milk for the first six months of life and that after
six months, breast feeding should be continued until
the baby is a year old, as other foods are slowly
introduced."

Fact: AAP recommendation says, "or as long as mutually
desired," past one year.

"Most mothers in our current society find it
difficult to continue breast feeding for that length
of time, even if they are staying at home with the
baby rather than working."

Fact: US women do not receive enough lactation
support. They also receive breastfeeding advice from
ABM manufacturers (often through their pediatricians'
offices or the media), which undermines their
confidence in their breastmilk's benefits.

"The infant gets most of the breast milk benefits in
the first three to four months of life as he gains the
breast milk influence on immunity and develops a
pattern of eating."

Fact: Childrens' health devlops normally if fed
breastmilk. A child's immune system is not fully
developed until 5-6 years of age. An artifically fed
baby, or toddler fed cow's milk and no human milk,
will be more at risk for illness at any age, if not
breastfed.

"An infant can be weaned from breast feeding at any
age depending on the mother's desires and the
circumstances (the father's opinion counts too!)."

Fact: (See AAP guidelines)Can be weaned, yes. Should
be, no.

" It has been shown that regular cow's milk in the
first year of life is more prone to cause allergy."

Fact: Cow's milk based ABM is also a common allergen,
as is soy based ABM. Straight cow's milk fed to an
infant can cause failure to thrive and death.

"If breast milk is continued and solid foods are
introduced at 4 to 6 months, then at 8 or 9 months of
age, most infants will show interest in drinking from
a cup. When a baby does this, it's an ideal time to
switch from breast to cup and parents may be able to
avoid the use of a bottle, which becomes a habit in
itself that must be addressed."

Fact: Introducing a cup does not automatically make it
time to switch from breast to cup. The worldwide age
for weaning is 2 to 7 years.

"Few mothers will continue to breast feed for the
entire first year, but if you do, your baby should be
weaned and transitioned to a cup and solid food
shortly thereafter. Not only is this nutritionally
better after the first year, but it's also emotionally
healthy from a developmental standpoint."

Fact: Many mothers continue to nurse for a year or
more. It is emotionally and physically normal and
healthy for a toddler to continue to breastfeed until
she outgrows the need.

"The mother should deliberately decrease the amount of
breast feeding every day, but still offer the child
water, formula and small amounts of fruit juices,
along with a consistently increasing amount of solid
food."

Fact: decreasing breastfeeding gradually is healthier
for the mother and baby. Decreasing breastfeedings
every day would not be gradual enough and might cause
mastitis. Fruit juice is not neccessary for toddlers.
Better choices are water and whole fruits.

"More comprehensive information on this subject may
be obtained from your physician, local library or the
AAP."

Fact: More information is best received from an
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, or
at www.lalecheleague.org, or kellymom.com

Please go to these links to obtain correct information
on the benefits of toddler nursing, and how and why to
wean. Thank you for helping mothers get their babies
off to normal (excellent) health by breastfeeding as
long as possible!

Sincerely
 
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