It’s easy to get discouraged about the state of maternal child health care today, especially in our country rich with resources.
Our nation’s c-section rates are startlingly high.
“Maternal deaths related to childbirth in the United States are nearly at the highest rate in a quarter century,” Carol Morello writes in a Washington Post article.
Our infant mortality rate isn’t any better.
I’ll say it again, it’s easy to get discouraged.
Karin Cadwell and Anna Blair, in their 2015 International Breastfeeding Conference session Where Are We Now?, acknowledged the work that still needs to be done. But they also highlighted some of the wonderful things happening within maternal child health in our nation (and one internationally.) It was just the kind of reminder I needed to recharge my batteries. If you’re looking for some encouragement, look no further. Here’s a recap of just some of the victories:
- Legislation was signed to address a discrepancy between coverage for breastfeeding expenses in the Affordable Care Act and those of Tricare.
- The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card 2014 recognized CLCs as part of the professional lactation support team along with IBCLCs. Check out Our Milky Way coverage here: http://www.ourmilkyway.org/clcs-included-in-2014-breastfeeding-report-card/
- This statement is included in the CDC National Health Report: Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality and Associated Behavioral Risk and Protective Factors—United States, 2005–2013: “Breastfeeding is an important, effective preventive action a mother can take to protect the health of her infant.”
- The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) supports breastfeeding in this position paper.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against Gerber over health claims. The FTC alleges Gerber “advertised that its Good Start Gentle formula would reduce the risk of a baby developing allergies despite having no proof for the claim.” [http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/30/us-gerber-ftc-advertising-idUSKBN0IJ22W20141030 ] (Now, what can we do about Similac and its slimy, new ad?)
- Italian police put 12 pediatricians under house arrest for allegedly accepting extravagant gifts from makers of baby milk formula to promote it in place of breastfeeding. [http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/21/us-italy-breastmilk-arrests-idUSKCN0J51TZ20141121 ]
- Great news post-conference: “After more than 600 people and organizations signed [BMBFA’s] petition asking Medolac Laboratories representatives to answer questions and to meet with mothers, activists, and lawmakers …in Detroit regarding the company’s plans to target low-income African American mothers and buy their breast milk, and then sell it at a markup, the company announced that it will not be proceeding. In fact, they stated that they are retiring their CGI Commitment to Action: Co-op Campaign to Increase Breastfeeding in Urban Areas.” [http://blackmothersbreastfeeding.org/2015/01/victory-medolac-retires-campaign/]
Please share your thoughts. What would you add to this list?