Breastfeeding Remains Best Choice in a Polluted World
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Jane Crouse, PRManager at llli.org (847) 519-7730, Ext. 271.
Schaumburg, IL (April 2008)—Breastfeeding remains the best option for feeding infants, even as attention is focused on the many chemicals that may find their way into a mother's body—according to La Leche League International, the leading expert in providing mother-to-mother breastfeeding support since 1956.
The four specimens often used to test levels of chemicals in the human body are urine, blood, hair, and human milk. This monitoring is done to determine levels of environmental chemicals in different geographical areas. Any substances found in human milk because of this routine testing are a reflection of the exposure in all humans living in that particular area and not a statement about breastfeeding.
Scientific research consistently shows that even in a world exposed to so many chemicals, breastfeeding offers advantages that outweigh the risk of ingesting possible contaminants. Indeed, the benefits of breast milk, which includes high levels of antioxidants, may prove to be essential to compensate for and outweigh the risks of toxic effects from the environment. Today the focus of scientific concerns is directed toward removing potentially toxic chemicals from the environment while recognizing the value of human milk, the only source of optimal nutrition for infants.
A discussion of this topic is incomplete without pointing out the well-documented nutritional inadequacies and detrimental health consequences of artificial baby milk, which may be contaminated both as products of the same environment and through manufacturing. In addition, human milk, unlike manufactured formula, does not add to the ecological burden of the planet.
Human milk cannot be duplicated. It is a living, changing fluid that continually adapts to the needs of the developing infant. Professional research demonstrates that breastfed infants have significantly lower morbidity rates. In addition, studies show that breastfeeding offers significant immunologic, developmental, and nutritional benefits.
La Leche League International maintains a Health Advisory Council consisting of medical experts who study breastfeeding as well as the Center for Breastfeeding Information that collects and analyzes current scientific studies about breastfeeding. La Leche League International fulfills its mission of offering information and support to women who wish to breastfeed by holding monthly meetings, offering telephone counseling and on-line support, through educational meetings and by publishing books and pamphlets on breastfeeding. For further information on this or any breastfeeding topic, visit our informative web site at www.llli.org or call 847-519-7730.