NEOBean - Great Idea - Great Blog! plus a rant on the politics of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is very political. First, In the obvious way - many legislatures and employers would like to control when, where and how a mother can feed an infant. The government has no place telling an infant it can not drink mothers milk in public and an employer should not be allowed to prevent a new mom from pumping breastmilk. It is the most natural, healthy and soothing for the infant and government should not limit the newborns freedoms just because someone is hung up on partially exposed breasts (which you usually cannot glimpse when the infant is nursing anyways!). Second - the formula industry is very powerful and works hard to inflitrate hospitals and homes to prevent breastfeeding. If the formula companies can convince a young mother that they need to suppliment with formula, that the baby doesn't need breastmilk and formula is just as healthy or that breastfeeding is a hassle then - they have succesfully created a little addict for themselves. It only takes a short while for a mothers milk supply to dry up if an infant isn't feeding regularly. (breasts respond to the infants needs and will stop producing milk if the infant isn't eating) If the mother is told to suppliment then her milk supply will drop. Formula companies often give away free formula to new mothers in hospitals and send out dozens of coupons and freebies via the mail - just to get a family hooked.
The other important part of breastfeeding and politics is that breastfed babies are healthier babies. Breastfeeding not only helps in physical health but it also promotes a strong mother child bond. These two factors can contribute to creating a better community in mulitiple ways even economically.
So, for those reasons - I am extremely excited to find NEOBean! Cuyahoga County and Ohio in general have low breastfeeding rates. We need advocates like this to help new mothers/families make knowledgable choices when it comes to feeding thier newborns.
More about NEOBean:
NEOBEAN is a network of individuals representing a diversity of perspectives who share a commitment to increasing breastfeeding rates and exclusive breastfeeding duration in Northeast Ohio. The co-facilitators of the network want to help participants in the network to become more intentional about using their connections with others in the Northeast Ohio area to make our individual and joint efforts at breastfeeding education and advocacy ever more effective.Exciting huh?
Our belief: That babies were born to breastfeed, and that portraying breastfeeding positively and supporting mothers’ desires to breastfeed wherever their babies are hungry is a key to sustaining our residents’ long term good health.
NEOBEAN activists will be pursuing four initiatives this year.
1) Fundraising to support the purchase of breastfeeding videos and books for all of the neighborhood branches of Cleveland Public Library, and display materials for branches to use in August during World Breastfeeding Week.
2) Cooperation with WIC to make breastfeeding support groups possible in neighborhood libraries, community centers, churches, or other nonprofits that are willing to donate space where new mothers can meet with trained breastfeeding peer mentors.
3) Building connections with local workplaces which employ large numbers of women, and conducting research on different ways of encouraging pregnant women to initiate breastfeeding and sustain it with workplace support after they return to paid work.
4) The development of continuing education workshops for hospital administrators, nurses, midwives, obstetricians, pediatricians, and family medicine doctors to bring nationally-recognized breastfeeding educators to Cleveland. A workshop will also be developed for human resources professionals so they can learn how breastfeeding-friendly practices can save companies money. The workshops will grow a support base for ongoing efforts to move more local hospitals toward baby-friendly certification, and more local workplaces toward family-friendly and breastfeeding-friendly policies and practices.
Would you like to help with one of these initiatives?
...contact Sandy Piderit by phone at 216-368-4642.
Tags:[Cleveland], [Breastfeeding], [NEObean]