Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Come Out of the Closet, Michelle!

Remember during the election when I wondered if the Obama kids were breastfed? Apparently, they were! Yes, Michelle Obama has always been on SuperMom status: gorgeous, smart, an attorney, and a breastfeeding mom! I don't know how anyone knows for sure that Michelle breastfed, but apparently it's a known fact that Michelle nursed both of her daughters and pumped for them at work.

You may have read that Michelle will be unveiling a new anti-obesity campaign, the details of which will be announced on Tuesday. So far Michelle has declined to speak about breastfeeding, but advocates are hoping she will change her mind, since we know that breastfeeding is part of a healthy lifestyle that does prevent obesity in children and helps moms lose the pregnancy weight easier.

"We have a dynamic role model in the White House, a black woman who gets the idea that she can go to work, be a lawyer and still provide milk for her baby," said Napiera Loveless, co-founder of MamaTotoMatema, a Cincinnati-based organization committed to educating and encouraging leaders and health care professionals to adopt different approaches to promoting breastfeeding in African American families. "She takes away the excuse."

Michelle is also such a beloved figure for African-American women, who knows how much influence she would have if she talked about the wonders of breastfeeding!  I'm constantly bemoaning the lack of breastfeeding role models in the black community, and I've been holding out hope for Beyonce to get pregnant and breastfeed. But if Michelle Obama has already breastfed, has pumped at work, understands the commitment it takes and can speak to the benefits of breastfeeding and how worth it it is to make some sacrifices for your baby, well, I think that would be a huge boon to the cause.

So come on, Michelle! Come out of the closet! Talk about breastfeeding! You have the power to make a difference in the number of our women who choose to nurse. We're counting on you. I'm counting on you!

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