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Population Crisis can be Resolved by Breastfeeding

Sunday, October 24, 2010 by: Penny Forham
Tags: breastfeeding, population, health news

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(NewsTarget) Population estimates state that the world population will reach 9 billion in the next century and biotech companies say that GM crops are required to feed the population. Statistics however would show that it is the move away from natural processes of living which has caused the population crisis. Breastfeeding is a simple and effective solution to reverse the population growth which benefits us, the planet and future generations. The global population has tripled since the 1950s by which time 50% of the infants in the US were artificially fed [1], and the formula companies stepped up and marketed to the developing world as well. Embracing breastfeeding can reverse this trend.

Mothers and babies are evolved to breastfeed. Artificially fed infants have lower IQ, poorer eyesight, more infections, higher risk of requiring orthodontics, higher risk of eczema and asthma and higher cholesterol, and they are more likely to be overweight and to develop diabetes. Mothers who don`t breastfeed are at higher risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, osteoporosis, and post natal depression, but a lesser examined consequence is the impact on her fertility. Before bottles, pacifiers, prams, and cots, babies were kept close to the mother and breastfed on cue day and night. Mothers, who practice this ecological breastfeeding experience an average of 14 months without menstruating, even then may not be fertile for several further cycles. [2]

In the West in the 1960s there was an educated population and access to birth control; in the rest of the world the impact of formula brought further consequences. In Africa breastfeeding prevents an average of 4 births per woman. In Bangladesh it prevents on average 6 births per woman. Chilean women exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months reported no pregnancies while 72% of the artificial feeding counterparts got pregnant.[3] Is there a link here with the tripling population numbers? Of course nutrition and medical advances also have an impact here as people are living longer. But are these numbers completely co-incidental?

It takes 1 litre of boiled water to prepare formula feeds and 2 litres to sterilise the bottles for every feed. In poorer countries this requires over half a kilo of firewood daily. We switch on the kettle. In India to feed every baby 133 million lactating cows would be needed, plus the land and water for those cows as well. The manufacturing of bottles, teats, cans and sterilisers uses vast resources, very little of which is recycled, and phthalates have been used in many of the plastics.
Breastfeeding doesn`t require any packaging, preparation, shipping or disposal. It is the required temperature, always available, sterile, and rich in antibodies. It is how we are designed to nourish our young.

A very small number of women (2-5%) have problems with sufficient milk but many others give up breastfeeding before they wish to. We have lost the knowledge of breastfeeding and have become an artificial feeding culture. Women just aren`t taught positioning and frequent feeding, sometimes leading to painful complications. It`s not the fault of the mothers that they stopped feeding, it is a failure of society to support those women. For those who do get past the first weeks breastfeeding is a wonderful experience filled with benefits for all.

How do we save ourselves from a population crisis? Breastfeeding!

[1] Schuman A (2003-02-01). A concise history of infant formula (twists and turns included). Contemporary Pediatric. http://www.contemporarypediatrics.com/contpe....

[2]Kippley, Sheila. Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing: How Ecological Breastfeeding Spaces Babies. Cincinnati: Couple to Couple League International, 1999

[3] INFACT Canada, Breastmilk: the perfect renewable resource http://www.infactcanada.ca/ren_res.htm

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