By: Kristy Kemp
This may piss some people off , but I'm saying it. It's not so much that there are all these extra benefits to life when you breastfeed, it's the risks that can happen when you don't and yes there is science to back that up.
No one is saying if you don't breastfeed, your baby is doomed to an unhealthy life. Many babies who weren't breastfed go on to lead happy, healthy, productive lives. So now because of this misconception people are publishing all these articles devaluing breastmilk or trying to show "proof" that these benefits aren't all they are cut out to be. Well, no one is promising that breastmilk is gonna keep you disease and illness free. Just like with risks, it is not a predetermined future!
In order to be "politically correct" we started promoting breastfeeding by wording it as breastfeeding benefits, rather than the risks of not breastfeeding and that has a lot to do with where we went wrong. In 2002, the Ad Council conducted focus groups to develop the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign, targeted at reproductive-aged women who would not normally breastfeed. They found that women who were advised about the “benefits of breastfeeding” viewed lactation as a “bonus,” like a multivitamin, that was helpful but not essential for infant health. Women responded differently when the same data was presented as the “risk of not breastfeeding,” and they were far more likely to say that they would breastfeed their infants.