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Nursing trumps infant formula

December 10, 2007

In a Dec. 3 article, you go over several studies and list statistics about breast-feeding. In all cases it is superior to artificial infant milk (formula). Since that is the case, how come the article is titled "Breast or bottle? No final answer yet"? What will it take for the media to agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization, among others, that breast-feeding is a far superior way to feed babies?

Holly Freedman Hollander

West Hills

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Eighty-six percent of mothers in California initiate breast-feeding. However, only 43% of mothers leave the hospital exclusively breast-feeding; only 30% are exclusively breast-feeding at 3 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for six months.

Clearly, moms overwhelmingly decide to breast-feed yet do not achieve the recommended duration. Hospital practices that do not support breast-feeding are part of the problem, but so are insurance companies that do not pay for clinical lactation support, and employers that do not comply with the California law protecting mothers who express milk at work.

Karen Peters

The writer is executive director of Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles.

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