“Russia came to the defense of the chest”, “the United States fought against breastfeeding”, “trump is fighting with breast milk”, “protest the United States impressed the officials who”, “America against the resolution who about the benefits of breastfeeding.” Such headlines are full now Internet. What happened and whose position was able to defend the who? The lactation consultant and volunteer La Leche League Russia Ekaterina Lokshina said that when it is not possible to provide breastfeeding are extremely rare.
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At the end of may in Geneva at the world health Assembly discussed the resolution of the who on breastfeeding. To pay the consideration offered Ecuador. Discussed by the delegations of the participating countries, the document urged to limit “untrue and deceptive ” advertising of artificial formulas, which, according to the who, can harm the health of children and mothers. However, delegates from the United States disagreed with the resolution and demanded the deletion of paragraphs related to the promotion and support of exclusive breastfeeding and the call to limit the spread of artificial mixtures. To succeed, the U.S. has resorted to threats, promising to cut military aid and even to impose trade sanctions against Ecuador. These threats have affected other Latin American and African countries, which could make a resolution on their behalf. By the way, at the same meeting was discussed the cuts to the who from the United States, the contribution to the budget of the organization which is 15-20 percent. However, in case Russia intervened. She made a resolution for discussion, thereby ensuring its adoption.
Ekaterina Lokshina: Children with a pacifier for us more comfortable than at the breast
– What do you know about the resolution of the who?
– A resolution in support of breastfeeding, which restricts the marketing of breast-milk substitutes. Such resolution once in two or three years, who has since 1980. The resolution does not restrict a parents access to artificial family, it only restricts the advertising, forcing manufacturers to properly label products, pointing not only advantages but also the risks of feeding breast milk substitutes.
From the 80s who is trying to limit manufacturers of artificial mixtures in their desire to embrace the entire world, as well as producers of alcohol and cigarettes.
– That requires resolution and how for manufacturers?
– It obliges to mention the benefits of breastfeeding (with this in the first place and do not agree the delegation of the USA – approx.ed.) compared to artificial feeding. For example, in the former resolutions were forbidden to advertise the use of artificial teats for feeding bottles as equal substitutes for the breast.
If you notice, in Russia, advertising mix, no show infant toddler, and they have already shown a six-month-old children who drink a mixture of Cup and not from a bottle. In other words, the resolution prohibits advertising products that can interfere with breastfeeding. It is known that early exposure with the bottle confuses some children and they refuse the breast in favor of bottles and nipples.
– Breastfeeding is a much better mixture – isn’t it obvious?
– Obviously, of course, but don’t forget about people who sell artificial mixture. Any restrictions cause damage to their business. Every newborn child put to the breast, not the bottle, to the detriment of the dairy industry (according to various estimates, the total global sales of artificial mixtures is around 70 billion dollars. The main share of production comes from American and some European companies – approx.ed.).
Today in the US is overproduction of dairy products. And as the poorly developed market for fresh milk, Americans prefer milk sold in more convenient forms, for example, in the form of cheese. In recent years, the United States is also actively developing industry, which encourages the marketing of “transitional” milk. Supposedly this is a special product for children older than one year. The need to buy it explain the fact that young children bad milk, therefore it is better to give them water special composition mixtures “for children older than one year.” In comparison with the sixtieth years of XX century in America, there is a constant reduction of the profits of the dairy industry. Any restrictive measures mean losses for this industry.
The attempt to prevent the adoption of a resolution who is one of the forms of support for the dairy industry. The United States is important to achieve the most favorable conditions for American companies.
– Is the resolution, who has such importance and weight?
– I do not know whether the world health organization’s punitive function, no doubt, to be honest. But in the professional community, among specialists in the field of health and counselors on breastfeeding around the world decided to boycott the violators of the who resolutions. And to boycott not only the formula milk, because the market giants are not only doing them, announced a boycott on all areas of production.
– Why does the US oppose the promotion of breastfeeding? What game is this?
One of the reasons that I have already mentioned, is associated with damage to the business. But we must not exclude the fact that it is a form of political pressure on the countries of Latin America and Africa.
– These countries constitute a market of dry mixes?
– Of course. So when US delegates at a meeting in Geneva called “for women’s choice, because not all of them can breastfeed” and that “you can not infringe on the rights of those who choose artificial feeding”, this was manipulation pure water. A little guile.
In our country, by the way, has not yet gained the strength movement of those who believe that the promotion of breastfeeding is an infringement of the rights of those who feed mixture. And in America and in Western Europe it has long been popular.
The purpose of these resolutions is to protect women, nursing babies at the breast, and to explain the risks of artificial feeding for the child and mother. To date, there is no normal breastfeeding support, but there is a multimillion dollar industry, who are interested in that women gave their children the bottle with a mixture of brand X.
– What are the risks of artificial formulas?
– Any substitute loses the original. No mixture can duplicate mother’s milk, which is constantly changing in its composition, adapting to the child not only from month to month, but during the day. To repeat its composition is not yet possible. Not to mention the fact that in the mixtures, not human protein, and goat’s, cow’s, soy. Disadvantages of mixtures for children’s health exist even in the long term. But for the health of the mother is harmful, because breastfeeding is a logical and natural continuation of pregnancy. And if mom is not breastfeeding, then her body is not the most favorable scenario.
For example, non-breast-feeding increases the women’s risk of osteoporosis at menopause and occurrence of certain types of cancer.
Third world countries today, of course, are the main markets for artificial mixtures. But if sanitary conditions are not very good, if there is no access to clean water, formula feeding increases risk of baby’s life. While breast milk is always available, the right temperature and with the optimal balance “right” for the child of bacteria.
– If you omit the questions of politics and business. Could it be that the argument of the delegation of the USA are the achievements of science and the latest developments in the production of dry mixes?
– No, on the contrary. Every year and open new useful properties of milk. Milk, and the process of breastfeeding, the effects – all of this medicine closely involved in the last thirty years. At every medical conference every year we hear that in the milk also found this substance, and this unique property.
– Can you give some example not beaten?
– Lately a lot of talk about the human microbiome.
The microbiome is the aggregate of microorganisms, a galaxy, an ecosystem that exists under its own laws. Periodically in this galaxy wars, which is good if we win friendly bacteria, because the victory unfriendly leads to a pathological condition.
A pressing question for scientists is to compensate for this condition. In particular, doctors have found that breast-feeding helps to colonize the baby’s body proper and useful for the life and health bacteria. Not only that, during the breastfeeding infant and mother interact. And surprisingly the mother’s milk constantly changes its composition, adapting to the needs of the child at this point in time.
For example, if an infant falls ill, the composition of the milk changes and it appears the specific antibodies to the disease. Breast milk, if you like, smart. But it’s happening at constant contact, the bodies of mother and child.
– Breastfeeding is great, but opponents of the resolution, for example, mention the women who are not able to feed. A lot of them?
– Physically able to feed everyone, with the exception of two-five percent of women who have either no Breasts or have a serious hormonal disorders. The latter can breastfeed, but are unable to provide the child’s diet of breast milk 100%. So women have to Supplement the children’s donor milk or its substitutes. Complete physical failure is archerella phenomenon.
Indeed, there are some objective obstacles, for example, an open form of tuberculosis, certain types of chemotherapy, but even the carriage of certain viruses is not always a contraindication to breastfeeding.
– Then why are low interest rates favoring breastfeeding?
– With the practices of motherhood that emerged in the twentieth century. Women began to enter the trade, leaving the children at home. Needed some kind of system that allows to feed babies in the absence of mothers or nurses. Enough two or three generations that women have almost completely lost this skill, because breastfeeding is a social skill.
Not surprisingly, due to the lack of a supportive environment after birth a woman can be difficult to acquire this skill. But often is not and doctors who would give advice, taught how to correctly applied to the chest, how to establish feeding, how to give supplementary feeding to child refused the breast. On the contrary, she frequently hears “a child crying, he’s probably hungry. Give him a bottle”.
– Opponents of breastfeeding claim that there is no proven long-term benefits of breastfeeding – is it true?
But the opposite is not proven. That breastfeeding in the long term is harmful, fortunately, nobody has proved.
First, to carry out any long-term studies difficult. Secondly, who will sponsor the breast milk? Who will be this financial interest? For research on the benefits of artificial mixtures or medicines will always be the manufacturer. But besides women, no on the planet manufacturers of breast milk.
To prove the benefits of breast milk is how to prove that to walk with their feet better than trying to walk on artificial limbs or crutches. Why do we have to convince someone that the original is better than a substitute? It’s an axiom. It does not require proof.
The resolution, who says exclusive breastfeeding, which should continue for at least six months. That is, in this period there must be no supplementary feeding of infants. This is due to the fact that physiologically the body is ready for other foods until six months.
Forty years ago, manufacturers of baby food marked their jars with puree and juice “fit for 3-4 months”, and in the USSR there were even recommendations on complementary feeding with one month. But these labels all the time.
In increasing performance and lowering the age of introduction of complementary foods interested manufacturers of canned food, as in the approval of the Ministry of health of their country and pediatricians. The fact that young parents great confidence in the doctors. In this sense, resolution who – not just empty words, they trust the medical community and, as a consequence, parents.
– Lobbying resolutions by Russia is a political step or it is based on something else, like historical context rooted tradition of breastfeeding?
Here I can only guess. Political motives do not exclude, of course. As do not exclude that in our country there is such an overproduction of milk in the U.S. the question “where to put it” is not necessary. Yes, and our medicine has developed its own way. Do not rule out that we feel more independent.
Of course, the arrival on our market of the world corporations for the production of artificial mixtures occurred later, perhaps, they just haven’t had time to accumulate so much power in their hands.
Today I see the trend of promoting breastfeeding. And not only in Russia, all over the world. The work of a new generation of female physicians, who do breastfeed, they keep abreast of, follow the latest achievements of science and the benefits of breastfeeding for them is obvious. It is thanks to these doctors more and more mothers realize that they can breastfeed.
– In the Soviet Union, many mothers squeeze out the excess milk and give up dairy food. Is there something similar now? If it’s even in demand?
– Unfortunately, our country is in the past. Russia in terms of milk donation lag far behind the developed countries. We have a donor milk Bank in Moscow and Ufa. They were open just a couple of years ago.
Meanwhile in the world of donor milk banks are extremely popular. For different reasons women give breast milk. Is his sacrifice, those who have lost newborns, but wanted to be something to help children who are alive and left without breast milk.
While donor milk is much more expensive than any artificial compound. The price per serving comes to $ 25. Milk banks collect donor blood, homogenizer, explore. Worldwide, there is also the practice of free exchange of breast milk between mothers.
– Why is this happening? Breast milk we give the children free, and artificial mixture still worth the money?
Once I came to accept the couple. Dad brought a jar in a gold wrapper with the words: “I’ve been reading the composition. There are so many things! Maybe we still sometimes feed my son? What do you think?”. You know, there is a category of people who believe that artificial mixture – it’s science! And what are labels? Read out you can. They detailed what this amazing product, because it includes dozens of trace elements and other beneficial substances.
The position of “breast-Feed because you have money in the mix there?!” popular for several decades. In Latin America there is a category of nursing “los dos” (both), are women who believe that alternating breast milk with formula, their child is getting all the vitamins from the mix, and all of the benefits of breast milk.
The marketing works. It is natural that people want to give a child this “useful substance” of the beautiful jars. Breast milk also does not write as it is magical, there are no labels with the composition, and advertising agencies do not receive multimillion-dollar orders for the promotion of breast milk.
Support for breastfeeding exclusively in the hands of the parents. You know, how did the world’s largest movement for the collection of reliable information about breastfeeding and sharing the real experience of nursing?
In the mid-20th century in the United States the percentage of nursing women was incredibly low, and gathered a group of 7 women that no one and nothing could hear about breastfeeding. They wanted to breastfeed and decided to at least share experiences with each other. This small group has gained such popularity that thirty years have managed to collect donations (30 thousand dollars) for the development of standards for a new profession of lactation consultant, and then became an Adviser to the who cases breastfeeding.
Also thanks to those mothers we still have the alternative to artificial mixtures. We live in a time when you have to prove that what is natural is not ugly. Children with a bottle and a pacifier for us long accustomed, than children at the breast.
Interviewed By Daria Rowena