Just about everyone knows that babies are given immune protection through their mother's antibodies during breastfeeding. However, there is new research on mice, our fellow mammals, that when the mother eats a nutritious diet of cancer-fighting fruits and veggies during pregnancy and breastfeeding, her baby also receives protection from cancer potentially lasting into middle age! Talk about long term benefit. Now, I know we are talking about rats, not babies at this stage of research, but there are many, many things we do not know about breastmilk and breastfeeding yet and we may never figure it all out. However, it is THE substance our bodies make for feeding babies. Makes sense that it can do so much to protect the human being for the long haul. Here's the bottom line, if your baby isn't breastfeeding, he gets his protection is cut short when he leaves your womb. And those of us who have had benefits cut at work or from a health care program know how much that stinks! Give your baby full benefits, breastfeed!
Also, there is a debate article in the IBJ about child feeding and human rights. Kent asserts that "children should be viewed as having the right to be breastfed, not in the sense that the mother is obligated to breastfeed the child, but in the sense that no one may interfere with the mothers right to breastfeed the child. Breastfeeding should be viewed as the right of the mother and child together." I couldn't agree more. The question is, what does that idea look like in real life?