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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 16, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Breast-feeding isn’t for everyone

Readers should be skeptical of breast-feeding data

Thank you to Beth Wierman Rubin for giving a needed voice to women who bottle-feed their infants [“Breast-feeding is not always everyone’s best available option,” Opinion, April 13].After going through an experience much like hers, a lactation specialist kindly assured me that, in fact, being unable to breast-feed is not as uncommon as people (even physicians) suggest. It was devastating to miss out on that bonding time and to feel like I had failed my children.

The benefits of breast-feeding are touted at every turn. But readers should view the information skeptically. For example, for many years, it was thought that breast-feeding protected against obesity. Yet, recent data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association fails to support that association.

I hope that women struggling with breast-feeding gain comfort in knowing they are not alone and should not feel inferior.

Laura Evans, Woodinville

Breast-feeding is the best option

Beth Wierman Rubin’s op-ed attack on breast-feeding was troubling [“Breast-feeding is not always everyone’s best available option,” Opinion, April 13]. While I read her frustration, I don’t see how her negative experience warrants an article intended to undermine the clear public-health message that breast-feeding is the healthiest choice for mothers and babies.

With rare exceptions (e.g., meth-addicted mothers, babies with phenylketonuria or galactosemia or moms with physiological problems), breast-feeding is best. It is best for providing nutrients for babies, bonding babies and their mothers and for mom’s own health.

Study after study has clearly shown that breast-fed babies are healthier, have fewer instances of disease, are better able to fight infections and are less likely to develop allergies.

Still, today, moms are asked to feed their babies in dirty restrooms or are ushered out of public accommodations for simply breast-feeding their babies.

Eron Berg, Sedro-Woolley

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