FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: MIRA WEINSTEIN, 202-331-0066 x705
Calling the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations long-overdue recognition of the importance of breast feeding, NOW Action Vice President Elizabeth Toledo called on businesses and society to take heed.
"It is a marker of progress that yesterday the medical community spoke out in favor of longer-term breast feeding, whereas many women in my mother's generation were strongly discouraged from nursing their children at all," Toledo said. In fact, when pregnant with her first child, Toledo was the only person in her birthing class whose mother had breast fed her children.
"The AAP's announcement gives women more information to make important decisions about their health and their baby's health," Toledo said. Citing the barriers for many women, Toledo called on the business community to help implement the pediatricians' findings. For instance, she asked why breast feeding mothers do not have access to facilities and equipment through their workplace. "When women do not have to hide in the bathroom or in a corner to breast feed or pump, we will have come a long way toward real respect for the job of being a mother," she said.
Toledo also urged the public to put the medical findings in accurate perspective, saying the choice to breast feed is a personal decision; the factors are different for every mother. "Some women find it very difficult to breast feed because of financial, logistical, health, or other reasons. Some women are able to overcome those obstacles, some aren't. We shouldn't use these findings to judge some mothers as ‘good' and others ‘bad' because of their decision on this one issue of their baby's health care."
NOW executive vice-president Kim Gandy had a similar reaction. "I nursed both of my daughters, and it was possible because I work for an employer that made it possible. But most employers don't provide those resources, and some actively take steps that make breast feeding impossible for their employees." Gandy suggested that some of the difficulties would be alleviated by greater public acceptance of nursing and pressure on employers to provide pumping equipment, private space and adequate breaks for nursing mothers.
Link to this release at http://www.now.org/press/12-97/12-03-97.html.
Return to NOW Home Page / Join NOW / Search / NOW Catalog / Send mail to NOW