Sunday, November 18, 2012

Talking Points & Resources

Aack!  I'm told the link doesn't work & it's dinner time & my kids are acting like... kids.  Here's the text.  Sorry for the lack of formatting!  I'll try to fix it later!  :)

The amazing Marianne Baker Bolduc has compiled some talking points and resources.  Not being a pro blogger, I don't know how to transfer all of her formatting, so I'm just going to send you to a link.  It's great info that you may find very helpful in preparing for the school board meeting, as well as for letter writing.  Thank you, Marianne!

If you intend to speak at the school board meeting, here are some ideas for talking points.
They are divided into three sections: General ideas, Barriers to breastfeeding, and Long-
term health outcomes, and Other Resources. Remember that you have only two minutes, so
it is usually best to focus on just one or two ideas.

General Ideas

Babies should be free to eat in public. Breastfeeding is the optimum method of infant
feeding. Breastfed babies need to eat frequently, and thus, need to be free to eat
in public. Several studies have found that embarrassment and concerns about
breastfeeding in public are major barriers to continuation of breastfeeding.

“The legislature has found that breastfeeding a baby is an important
and basic act of nurture that must be encouraged in the interests of
maternal and child health and family values. Texas Health and Safety

Code, § 165.001.

The legislature recognizes breast-feeding as the best method of
infant nutrition. Texas Health and Safety Code, § 165.001.

Barriers to Breastfeeding

Several studies have found that embarrassment and concerns about breastfeeding in
public are major barriers to continuation of breastfeeding. Failing to breastfeed for
at least six months leads to worse health outcomes for babies and mothers. See, for

Nursing women “felt ‘vulnerable’ nursing in public. Certain proactive behaviors and
personal attributes as well as support from other women enabled them to breastfeed
successfully in public.”

Sheeshka J, Potter B, Valaitis R, et al.: Women's experiences
breastfeeding in public places, Journal of Human Lactation 2001;

"The variability in support for breastfeeding by managers of
restaurants and shopping centers will continue to create uncertainty
for mothers wishing to breastfeed in these public places."
McIntyre E, Turnbull D, Hiller J: Breastfeeding in public places,
Journal of Human Lactation 1999; 15(2):131-135.

“Public perception needs to be changed and legislation prohibiting
discrimination against breastfeeding in public needs to be
encouraged and supported,” based on findings that more than
a quarter of surveyed adults found breastfeeding in public

Li R, Fridinger F, Grummer-Strawn L: Public perceptions on
breastfeeding constraints, Journal of Human Lactation 2002;

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Lack of family and broad

societal support is an obstacle to breastfeeding.” Policy statement:
Breastfeeding and the use of human milk, Pediatrics February
2005; 115(2):496-506. Full text of this statement at http://;115/2/496

Scott J, Landers M, Hughes R, et al.: Psychosocial factors associated
with abandonment of breastfeeding prior to hospital discharge,
Journal of Human Lactation 2001; 17(1):24-30.

“Interventions to increase public acceptance of breastfeeding
include legislation ensuring the right to breastfeed.” Shealy KR,
Li R, Benton-Davis S, Grummer-Strawn LM. The CDC Guide to
Breastfeeding Interventions. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005.
Full text at

Long-Term Health Outcomes

Breastfeeding Reduces Obesity:

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of childhood obesity. Breastfed children have a 30% reduction in
the risk of becoming obese in childhood compared with formula-fed infants. Obesity is linked with
increases in the development of diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases—
expensive and debilitating conditions to treat.
Lancet 2002; 359:2003-2004. Pediatrics 2002; 110:597-608.

Breastfeeding Is Linked to Higher IQ:

Numerous studies link breastmilk and breastfeeding with improved cognitive function and
neurodevelopment in infants. Texas needs a population of bright school children as the basis of a
secure future workforce.
Lancet 1992; 339:261-262. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 1998; 40:163-
Acta Paediatrica 2002; 91(3):267-274.

Breastfeeding Reduces Health-Care Costs by Improving Child Health:

According to a USDA cost analysis, a minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding
rates are increased from present levels to those recommended by the Surgeon General. This
figure probably underestimates the true savings, as the study only looks at 3 of the childhood
illnesses that breastfeeding protects against: otitis media (ear infection), gastroenteritis (diarrhea),
and necrotizing enterocolitis (a bowel infection of premature infants). Currently, Texans spend
huge amounts of personal, insurance, and tax dollars treating medical problems that could be

prevented by breastfeeding.

The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis, report prepared for the
USDA, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research, March 2001, Report No.13.

Breastfeeding Lowers the Risk of Breast Cancer:

Women who were breastfed as children and women who breastfeed their own children are at
reduced statistical risk of developing breast cancer. Many Texans have lost a loved one from
breast cancer.
Epidemiology 1994; 5:324-331. American Journal of Epidemiology 2000; 152(12):1129-1135.

Lancet 2002; 360(9328):1871-95.

Breastfeeding for less than 6 months may be a predictor of adverse mental
health outcomes throughout childhood and early adolescence.
The Long-Term Effects of Breastfeeding on Child and Adolescent Mental
Health: A Pregnancy Cohort Study Followed for 14 Years.

Oddy WH, Kendall GE, Li J, Jacoby P, Robinson M, Klerk NH, Silburn SR,
Zubrick SR, Landau LI, Stanley FJ. J Pediatr.. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether there was an independent effect of
breastfeeding on child and adolescent mental health. RESULTS: Breastfeeding
for less than 6 months compared with 6 months or longer was an independent
predictor of mental health problems through childhood and into adolescence.
This relationship was supported by the random effects models (increase in
total CBCL score: 1.45; 95% confidence interval 0.59, 2.30) and generalized
estimating equation models (odds ratio for CBCL morbidity: 1.33; 95%
confidence interval 1.09, 1.62) showing increased behavioral problems with
shorter breastfeeding duration. CONCLUSION: A shorter duration of
breastfeeding may be a predictor of adverse mental health outcomes
throughout the developmental trajectory of childhood and early

Other Resources


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I posted this in a thread on FB, too, but want to add it here:
    Yes, the main point is the law. But with AISD lawyers saying they are confident that they are following the law, that may not be enough in *this situation.* When speaking to the press, yes. When writing a petition that can't be too long for people to want to read, yes. Here I think it's valid that we also express the damage that can be done to a nursing relationship when a mother is given the message that people feel she is being inappropriate by feeding her baby. The WHY of the law matters here, because it defines the intent of the law and public expectations about it. And of course our passion for the benefits of breastfeeding are why we don't want any nursing relationships hurt, so that may come up for some of us.
    I think no matter how many times we tell a lawyer or people confident in advice a lawyer has given that the law is being broken, we won't necessarily move them. That's why, to me, 2 minutes may be enough to cover respect, as well, & the benefits of bf, if there's time, could get a mention. I just re-read everything & I really appreciate what is there. Marianne did a fantastic job of assembling research-supported bf benefits for anyone who wants to touch on those, and in the General Ideas listed the laws, our main talking point.
    Regarding respect, Mr. Waxler thinks the district has nothing to do with a woman's choice to breastfeed or not. But in choosing to continue to stigmatize public breastfeeding, they ARE risking influencing a mother's choice. That's important. A mother who feels she must bring a bottle when at school (at least twice a day for many of us) may use formula & not pumped milk, & her supply is impacted by formula/bottle use and she may not breastfeed for as long as she had wanted as a result. If that's a choice a mother wants to make on her own, *that's different.* But if it's because the district is on record as believing it is inappropriate and even prohibited, then the district *is* at fault for complicating what is already difficult in so many other ways, from low supply to oversupply to biting, plugged ducts, mastitis, etc., etc., etc. We don't need this one more thing! Marianne's got research I am excited to read that supports it's not just my anecdotal opinion that it's hard to keep breastfeeding when you're harassed for doing it.
    Ryan, what you outlined is what I'll have to say, but it won't all need repeating by everyone. I have appreciated your support & advice SOOOO much, & I will continue to ask for it & mostly follow it to a "T" - I just wanted to share that I don't want to insult Marianne's fantastic work & that I think it's ALL important here. That's why my letter to the principal was so long!
    Regardless of whatever else you are most moved to spend your 2 minutes on, knowing that the law should be the primary focus, I know we all want to be sure to avoid alienating anyone who could not or chose not to breastfeed (I tried to be clear & careful when I mentioned formula above, though it may not even be worth risking that example - I hope no one reads it & takes it the wrong way), & please keep the focus on the district & not my principal, who was following district practice.