Breastfeeding without feeling like a boob

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

In our neck of the woods, breastfeeding is back in style.

Of course for many it never went out of style, but like many parenting approaches, it’s seen its share of controversy.

Savvy marketers have found all kinds of ways to make the experience a more comfortable one for mother, child, and fellow subway riders– including the fashion-forward “Hooter Hider” pictured in this post. Women have staged “nurse-ins” around the country to protest the stigma that still lingers around public breastfeeding. Even so, many of us are still hot in anticipation for a way to make the pumping experience more palatable.

It gets us thinking… how can we leverage the allure of healthy bodies doing what they are meant to do – like breastfeeding – and add the right education, support, and resources to address the health crises we’re dealing with in our system today?

We know there are reasons why breastfeeding for six months – or at all – just isn’t feasible. But based on the most recent research, it should be our first recommendation, and it should be something for which we offer families supportive resources to make it possible. In fact, according to one report, 1.4 million child deaths could be averted each year if babies were breast-fed properly. That’s one child dying unnecessarily every 22 seconds.

And for those of us working in the healthcare space, it’s worth thinking about other health practices to which we could apply the same low-cost, high-benefit approach.

How could we, for example, get the majority of folks to embrace stretching the same way they’ve embraced breastfeeding — and perhaps save some people from painful and expensive back surgeries? Or maybe cut a little into the liposuction market by promoting natural tummy tucks through a healthy diet and an active lifestyle? Along the way, maybe we can figure out what the barriers are to these more organic (and cheaper, of course) solutions – and how we can address them in unexpected, engaging ways.

You know our thoughts on that one – if it reduces costs and saves lives, suddenly going “au natural” seems sexier than ever.

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