Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Close the milk gap

You've probably heard of the "wage gap," the "trade gap" and the "digital divide." Now the Huffington Post is blogging about the "milk gap," the vast difference between the urging of the medical community that women breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and continue throughout the first year of baby's life and the realities of our world that make this almost impossible for many new moms.

The author says:

Most babies have a milk deficit: they breastfeed for less than one year. Fortunate moms minimize the deficit by crafting extended paid leaves from work by taking what paid time off they have accrued all at once (for example, maternity leave plus sick days plus vacation days). Other mothers utilize on-site day care, which allows them to break from work to breastfeed. Still others bring their infants to work. Flexible schedules sometimes permit moms to work at home or part-time -- thereby enabling them to nurse their babies while resuming wage work responsibilities. And some moms resort to breast pumps to allow others to feed their babies' the precious mother's milk.
Yet no matter how hard mothers try to close the milk gap, they are left in nearly an impossible situation, trying to meet the twelve-month medical guideline by individually cobbling together a strategy that works perhaps for awhile, staving off guilt about how much milk and breast -- and what they together and separately offer -- their babies and they themselves need.

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