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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Breast of the Story

Timothy Birdnow

I've been puzzling and puzzling, till my puzzler has grown quite sore, and there is most definitely a pattern to this breast feeding business, but I am struggling to put the pieces together. It is there, though; I have little doubt.

Apologies to begin in the middle of a conversation. For those yet to see my post on the breast feeding campaign it can be found here.

Time Magazine ran a cover article about the wonderous benefits of extended breast feeding (meaning over a year) and had a smoking hot babe with a three year old child standing on a stool enjoying those mammaries (can't say I blame him). The article was promoting the theories (or is it quakeries?) of one Dr. Sears who advocates what he calls "attachment parenting", which suggests children should be smothered in parent/mother bonding.

Interesting theory, except one must question the efficacy. It seems Adolf Hitler was raised in a quite similar fashion, with an unusually tight bond between himself and his mother while his father remained cold and aloof.

But be that as it may, I find nothing objectional to Dr. Sears advice for babies; he does suggest that the mothers carry them around like sacks of flour, but there isn't a whole lot wrong with that. My problem is he advocates extended breast feeding, something that I have misgivings about.

Granted, information on Hitler as a child is sketchy, and to claim he was a beneficiary of extended breastfeeding is stretching. Still, it was known that Hitler and his mother were unusually close, and that is precisely what is being advocated by Dr. Sears.  Not that a close mother/child relationship is bad, but is it necessarily good?  Certainly it discourages independence. Did Hitler seek power to prove he could be independent?

Was Hitler breast fed as a child? 

There has been much ink spilled on the side of breast feeding, and particularly on the side of extended breast feeding, with dubious claims of amazing benefits. But the studies have, by and large, been done on older children who had been breast fed when in infancy, and the controls have been poor. The most thorough study of breast feeding was conducted on 17046 mother/child pairs, and was followed for a considerable period. According to the study:

"On the basis of the largest randomized trial ever conducted in the area of human lactation, we found no evidence of risks or benefits of prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding for child and maternal behavior."

End excerpt.

So, nada. No benefits, no detriments. It is what it is.

Of course, the long-term psychological impact of this practice was not analyzed. That would be quite difficult, and it would likely reveal little as it would necessitate honesty in answering questions - an honesty that parents may have a hard time with, given their choice.

Logic would suggest that children so overly nurtured would tend toward dependency, toward shying away from self-reliance.

While that is hardly a scientifically established theory, it is as good as any by Dr. Sears. But one must ask, lacking any real evidence that extended breast feeding is good, why are we now seeing a government promotion of it?

The U.S. Surgeon General is promoting it. So is the World Health Organization. SOMEBODY has some reason to push this.

I included this quote in my last article, but it deserves reinclusion here:

"By 2020, the nation's health goals call for more than a quarter of babies to be exclusively breast-fed through their first six months of life, and for more than a third to still be nursing when they turn 1 year old.

To help reach those goals, the surgeon general last year issued a call to ease the obstacles that make it harder for women to breast-feed - from the hassles of pumping milk at work to a general lack of understanding about how super-healthy it is during that critical first year."

End excerpt.

What strikes me as odd is that this has not been established at all, and yet there is a confident push to not only encourage breast feeding but to encourage change in the workplace and society at large - change mandated by the government. Now, government always tries to grab more power than it has any right to hold, but why this particular battle?

The U.S. Surgeon General under the Obama Administration is one Regina Benjamin. Dr. Benjamin, a naval Vice Admiral, was first appointed to HHS by Donna Shalala. She was a member of the Soros funded Physicians for Human Rights, a left-leaning group.  (Among PHP's self-proclaimed successes are accusations of torture against the U.S. in Iraq, and PHP Israel demands hunger strikers be given expensive medical treatment before questioning or whatnot, despite their explicit purpose to starve themselves.) Discover the Networks has a fine expose' on this group here is also strongly pro-abortion, despite being a Catholic. And her first paper as Surgeon Gen. was a diatribe about unhealthy eating, despite an obvious weight problem herself.

And she wants to push breast feeding on the general public.

It makes me wonder. I have documented the war on milk being waged by this administration, and by milk I mean cows milk, the kind that runs from the udders of our old friend. And there is in fact a desire on the part of some in this Administration to crush the traditional agricultural system that has so blessed us. see here and here

But what is the angle in this instance? Since Third World nations often cannot supply sanitary milk they have to rely on extended breast feeding. Is this an attempt to conform America to an international standard? Are the internationalists pushing to create an international diet? I've always been of the opinion that this is precisely what many of them want.

Or perhaps it really is just nannyism run amok; perhaps the "back to nature" granola crowd have won over people like Benjamin. They have, after all, won over Madam Obama, who demands healthy eating (while enjoying plateloads of ribs, hamburgers, and other things she denies to others.) 

I don't know, but I have my suspicions about this. I suspect there is more to this whole thing than meets the eye. Watch for some kind of ridiculous proposal coming from Obama, one designed to infuriate the GOP and work toward his "war on women" meme. If there is an ulterior motive, it will show itself in time. Doubtless there are multiple layers to this.

Keep a sharp eye; this thing is only just begun.

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