Media Release: La Leche League International Applauds Breastfeeding Campaign
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Schaumburg, IL (June 4, 2004)-La Leche League International (LLLI) applauds the Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Women's Health and the Ad Council on the launch of its national breastfeeding awareness campaign.
"Babies Were Born to be Breastfed," is the signature statement attached to this educational campaign which will deliver public service announcements to newspapers, magazines, billboards, radio and television. The message is that babies exclusively breastfed for six months are healthier because they are less likely to develop a variety of diseases including diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infections, and obesity.
For almost fifty years, LLLI, the world's foremost authority on mother-to-mother support and breastfeeding, has helped mothers with the information and support they need in order to breastfeed their babies. Exclusive breastfeeding, i.e. breastfeeding without supplemental liquids such as water, juice, or formula or solid foods, is encouraged by LLLI.
Breastfeeding offers the greatest protection from illness when babies are receiving human milk alone; this protection declines in proportion to the amount of supplements, such as formula, cow's milk, or solid foods, they receive. Babies also receive more benefits the longer they are breastfed. Scientific studies call this effect a "dose response."
Some conditions that show a dose response to breastfeeding are: childhood leukemia and lymphoma, ear infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, meeting developmental milestones, and breast cancer among mothers who breastfeed their babies. In addition, the use of artificial nipples for early supplementation can cause nipple confusion and lead to breastfeeding problems.
It is hoped that educating the public about the extraordinary benefits of breastfeeding will motivate more mothers to initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding for six months as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization. The United States has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world. While 70 % of mothers begin breastfeeding in the hospital, only 33% are still breastfeeding at six months.
With the proper information and support, most mothers are able to breastfeed exclusively. LLLI, a non profit organization, offers local mother-to-mother support groups for pregnant and lactating women in over sixty countries. Founded in 1956 by seven women who wanted to help other mothers, LLLI is now an internationally recognized authority on breastfeeding. For information on breastfeeding or a group in your area visit LLLI's informative Web site at www.lalecheleague.org or call (847) 519-7730.
Addendum: To view the television ads and listen to the radio ads online go here:
To hear a version of the ad in Spanish, click here.
For additional LLL information in support of the Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign, click here.July 25, 2006 by chj.