Breastfeeding: Helping to level the playing field… What does this mean? Here is one of my favorite quotes to help explain:
“Breastfeeding is a natural “safety net” against the worst effects of poverty. If the child survives the first month of life (the most dangerous period of childhood) then for the next four months or so, exclusive breastfeeding goes a long way toward canceling out the health difference between being born into poverty and being born into affluence …. It is almost as if breastfeeding takes the infant out of poverty for those first few months in order to give the child a fairer start in life and compensate for the injustice of the world into which it was born.”
–James P. Grant, former Executive Director, UNICEF
This is powerful stuff! Let me share more. When a baby is born, if they are put into their parents arms and are breastfed, they don’t care about their parent’s economical status. Until solids are introduced, a breastfed baby does not feel the same effects of poverty as older children or adults. They can have all they need. Optimal nutrition and loving arms.
The World Health Organization has realized this for years. That is why they spend so much time and money helping to promote and protect breastfeeding. However, here in the USA, not all services and support systems are available equally to all. We do have WIC offices to provide services for our lowest income families but not all families are comfortable becoming part of this large government organization. Also, many families do not qualify for WIC, but do not have the extra money to pay for lactation support.
On the other hand, families are often unaware that paying for good lactation support can actually save them money. Formula feeding is expensive!
The cost of formula feeding a baby for 1 year using the cheapest products still costs over $1000! Even if families pay out of pocket for my services it is only $125. I offer lesser fees to families that I see are in need. My Breastfeeding Cafe is also a great place to get support! Although we do not handle big breastfeeding problems at the Cafe, we can help mothers tweak things, get ideas for going back to work, and the Cafe can be a great place to get follow up care after a private consultation.
I really wish our government would spend more money offering breastfeeding support. They are always saying breastfeeding is best for babies, but when it comes to putting money where their mouth is, not so much. If you are low income and need breastfeeding support, consider contacting your local WIC office. Your local La Lech League group might also be helpful. Sometimes your hospital might have a client. Come to a Breastfeeding Cafe! There is most likely a solution to your breastfeeding problem if you can just get a little help. Level that playing field!