Volume 4 Issue 3

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Page 13 of 47

1 - 100 Years of Precedent Originally, synthetic formula was meant as a more- nutritious alternative to animal milk for infants whose mothers had died in childbirth or otherwise were not available to breastfeed. By the late 1900s, commercial formula brands were marketing their powders in women's magazines. "Mothers were told they needed formula to create more milk, or to rest or exercise — a lot of incorrect recommendations," according to Marsha Walker, executive director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy. In World War II, more women entered the workforce. At the same time, the conception of a "scientific motherhood" took hold, Ms. Walker said. Motherhood, like production, became very regimented. "You can decide when your baby naps or when you pick it up," Ms. Walker said, "but breastfeeding can't be regimented." 2 - ey're Working Today, formula is a convenience — oen a necessary one — for mothers who work outside the home. According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, the labor force participation 5 AmericAn Women Reasons W o n ' t B r e a s t f e e d rate for mothers with infants is 57%, up from 53% in 2004. e U.S. is also one of few developed countries that has no guaranteed paid maternity leave, making the choice to return to work more necessary. While federal law gives women a time and place to pump breast milk, work oen makes it difficult. Laurence Grummer-Strawn, chief of the Nutrition Branch at the CDC, said this affects low- income women the most. "An executive who has an office doesn't need a special room for expressing milk; she can just close the door," he said. 3 - Socio-Economic Inequality Race and income are major predictors of whether a woman will exclusively breastfeed for six months. e highest rate of breastfeeding is among wealthy whites. Meanwhile, women with low incomes are oen financially compelled to quickly return to the workforce. e jobs of low-income women are also less likely to offer paid maternity leave. Whether a woman breastfeeds or not greatly depends on whether her friends, family and community do so. Page 14| Abby's Magazine -

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