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Attention CEO’s: Embrace the Breast, Save America!

April 7, 2010

According to a study recently released by the online journal Pediatrics (American Academy of Pediatrics) “…there are hundreds of deaths and many more costly illnesses each year from health problems that breast-feeding may help prevent. These include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.”

CEO’s and management-types, listen up.  The potential benefits of breastfeeding are staggering in economic and human terms:  the lives of nearly 1,000 babies saved each year, plus 13 billion (yes, that’s a “b”) dollars.  All this if 90% of U.S. women simply breastfed their babies for the first six months of life. 

As blown-away as I was by the above statistics, I found the following even harder to believe:   

“About 43 percent of U.S. mothers do at least some breast-feeding for six months, but only 12 percent follow government guidelines recommending that babies receive only breast milk for six months.”

Only 12 percent?  Really?  What’s the big rush to give babies formula?  Did I miss something when my kids were infants?  And while we’re at it, I find the fact that less than half of U.S. mothers do any breastfeeding at all pretty shocking, too.  Don’t the other 57 percent of women know that breastfeeding basically gives you a free boob-job for as long as you do it?  That for the six or twelve or however many months you breastfeed you don’t just have breasts, you don’t have boobs, you have ginormous bazoombahs each with its own zip code?

I find it very difficult to believe that anyone is really surprised that breastfeeding is the best way to nourish babies and bolsters their immune system.  And if there’s anyone out there who can honestly say they had no idea, well, I know of a certain Nigerian prince who would love to make your online acquaintance. 

One reason for the low number is that a lot of women work outside the home, and the logistics of breastfeeding can be difficult under those circumstances.  Pumping breast milk is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it particularly pleasant (how can any woman enjoy feeling like Elsa the cow giving her morning quart?).  It is even less appealing if you don’t have a private (no, a bathroom stall does NOT count) place to do so.

Hellooo…CEO’s of companies large and small…you can actually save a lot of money by providing a nice little private area, along with extra break time, for breastfeeding mothers.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a pleasant place to sit uninterrupted for ten minutes or so.  Weigh that against all of the lost productivity and extra costs of bringing in a temp when a mother has to stay home with her sick child.  And don’t worry about her lounging and lollygagging around after she’s done.  No woman is going to leave those contraptions – no matter how “life-like” or “whisper-quiet” the action – clinging to her body like giant vinyl remoras any longer than she has to.

Save money, save lives, boost employee morale, help create a healthier population, give the U.S. economy a much-needed boost.  If there are any downsides to business embracing breastfeeding, I sure can’t see them.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bobby Israel permalink
    April 11, 2010 8:45 pm

    I will set aside all the dumb/silly/bad jokes that comes to a childish mind and just state that I agree.
    Bobby Israel has something to fight for besides freedom.

  2. savvymomsafekids permalink*
    April 21, 2010 7:01 pm

    With a name like Bobby Israel I would expect no less. You may continue to walk the streets of America with your head held high, my friend.

  3. August 11, 2010 6:56 pm

    Funny! “Like giant vinyl remoras…” I now have a new metaphor for the indignity of pumping. Thanks for your humorous take on this important topic!

  4. August 12, 2010 12:12 pm

    Loved it, thank you!

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