The Emotions Over Breastfeeding

Grandpa Richard believes that every baby should be breastfed as long as is reasonably possible. A new study has suggested that the minimum time frame should be 6 months of JUST breast milk. The health benefits have been studied extensively and study after study claims great benefits from that suggested rule.

Now, my critics are both alive and active. I have received a number of emails/comments saying I am horrible for suggesting that a mother who does not breastfeed is being unfair to her child. I stand by my thoughts. Keep in mind, ladies, that some mothers cannot breastfeed due to medical complications. In that case they should not feel guilty, but rather should work with their health care professional to see if an alternative will help. If you are physically capable of breastfeeding, then I urge you to do so for a minimum of 6 months.

Below is a copy of a post that I made on one of my child oriented websites.

p.s. I also made a short video and posted it to YouTube.


A updated study (as reported in the journal Pediatrics) suggests that billions of dollars could be saved in the United states if mothers breastfed their babies for 6 months. It has been reported that some hospitals push formula even when the mother wants to breastfeed. The study confirms the oft handed down notion that breastfeeding should start as soon after birth as possible.

From the journal’s abstract …

A 2001 study revealed that $3.6 billion could be saved if breastfeeding rates were increased to levels of the Healthy People objectives. It studied 3 diseases and totalled direct and indirect costs and cost of premature death. The 2001 study can be updated by using current breastfeeding rates and adding additional diseases analyzed in the 2007 breastfeeding report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Further more …

The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 per cent of U.S. women breastfed their babies for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says.

“The health care system has got to be aware that breastfeeding makes a profound difference,” said Dr. Ruth Lawrence, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics’ breastfeeding section.

The findings suggest there are hundreds of deaths and many more costly illnesses each year from health problems that breastfeeding may help prevent. These include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.

Even when Grandpa Richard was raising children (starting 30+ years ago) it was well known that breast milk contains antibodies that help fight infections. It also can affect insulin levels in the blood, which may make breastfed babies less likely to develop diabetes and obesity.

About 43 per cent of U.S. mothers do at least some breastfeeding for six months, but only 12 per cent follow government guidelines recommending that babies receive only breast milk for six months.

If you are a non-breastfeeding mom, like some that have sent me scathing emails over the years, keep this in mind. Why are you not breastfeeding? Is it due to some health-related challenge, or inconvenience? Is it because your family dynamics require you to work full time (ever heard of breast pumps?) or the idea just turns you off?

If you are physically able to breastfeed, consider your child’s future health. Yes, many formula fed babies do just fine, but many people who refuse to wear a seatbelt also live to a ripe old age. The statistics are there. The stats do not say your baby will suffer. The stats say that there is a better chance of great health if they are breastfed.

If possible, I urge you to do what nature intended. If truly not possible, do not feel guilty. If not possible, work with your health care professional to find alternatives that increase your baby’s chance at a great and healthy future.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard, Richard Killey. Richard Killey said: The Emotions Over Breastfeeding: Grandpa Richard believes that every baby should be breastfed as long as is reason… […]

  2. Steph says:

    Nothing like taking on a controversial subject, huh?!

    [GR responds: Sometimes my middle name is “controversial”! My thoughts come mainly from being of the back-to-the-land type (although I never got to get there) and keep things natural mentality. What can be more natural?]