Jul. 5, 2006
Everyday I read another article about the benefits of breast milk.
A couple of today’s articles reference:
1. Reduced bedwetting in breastfed babies (there is strong evidence that in many cases bed-wetting can "result from delayed neurodevelopment," said the report) and
2. Premature infants doing better on tests of mental development later in life (the tiniest premature infants fed with breast milk in the hospital did better on tests of mental development later in life than did others fed only formula, a new study has found.)
I also just read about the case of a poor mother from the Chinese countryside hired to breastfeed an affluent city-dweller's baby which stoked controversy over the ethics of the ancient practice of wet nursing.
Professional wet nurses have appeared in major cities across China, fueled by rising incomes and a demand for healthy milk.
China has been dogged by a number of health scares regarding bogus baby milk formula. In 2004, at least 13 babies died from malnutrition in the country's impoverished eastern province of Anhui after being fed fake baby milk.
It’s worth noting that the World Health Organization apparently lists formula as the fourth choice of infant feeding methods, following, in order, a mother breastfeeding her own baby, another woman wet-nursing the baby, and feeding human breast milk acquired from a milk bank.
What do you think? If you had to return to work and couldn't pump or otherwise just couldn’t breastfeed (assuming you wanted to that is) and the breast milk of another woman was available for hire - would you consider the option? What about milk banks? It’s expensive, but if you could easily afford it, would you?
(by the way, it’s allegedly amazing any of us born in the 60’s are even alive today. Powdered milk, pregnant mothers who drank/smoked and did whatever else they claim they didn’t know was bad then, etc.. But, with all this additional knowledge and diligence, it will be interesting to see if our children really turn out that much smarter, healthier and with drier beds than we had.)