Michelle Obama the New Symbol for Breastfeeding?

Cynthia Dermody
michelle obama University of California graduation

Photo by 3gifts.from.god

Michelle Obama breastfed both her daughters. Wow, I never knew that. The First Lady rarely talks about her personal experience with, much less publicly endorses, nursing. Breastfeeding advocates hope that will change, if not with today's announcement of Michelle Obama's big childhood obesity initiative, then in the near future.

"Lactivists" such as Best for Babes and MamaTotoMatema are trying to make inroads to Obama to get her include breastfeeding as a vital part of her plan. They'd love her to become the new "public symbol" for breastfeeding.

Every First Lady has their "cause." Hillary's was health care. Laura Bush promoted literacy. For Obama it's childhood obesity, affecting 1 out of every 3 children.

It makes sense that Obama should including breastfeeding. Breastfed children have a lower rate of ear infections, asthma, cancer and other chronic diseases. And, though the link hasn't been conclusively proven, there is evidence that it even lowers the risk of obesity for the mother and child.

There's another thing to consider, a double benefit, if you will: Black women have one of the highest rates of obesity, and the lowest rate for breastfeeding. Only about 20 percent of black women nurse, compared with 40 percent of Hispanic mothers and 35 percent of white mothers.

We'll have to listen to details of today's press conference to find out if Mrs. Obama mentions breastfeeding. Post any news you hear in comments ...

Should Michelle Obama heartily endorse breastfeeding, become the new public symbol for it? If you're a formula feeding mom, would that bother you?


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