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Moms Talk Q&A: Breastfeeding, the Government and You

Join in the conversation on this week's hot topic.

Grayslake Patch invites you and your circle of friends to help build a community sf support for moms, grandparents, neighbors and friends. Join in the conversation. There are no right or wrong answers, only diverse opinions where we can all learn from one another.

Please Note: All comments should be directed to the issues at hand. Personal attacks will not be allowed. We invite a wide range of opinions from anyone who wants to comment. But let's keep it clean and above board.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It is a tough, demanding job that can be the most rewarding thing you have ever done. Let's help each other through it.

This week's question is:

Last week, Michelle Obama promoted breast-feeding as a healthy option for moms and babies, but Sarah Palin said it was the ultimate case of "Big Brother" aka big government meddling in people's lives. What do you think? Is breast feeding the answer? Should the government decide how you feed your baby? Or should the government just stay out of it?

Tracy Lynch February 23, 2011 at 07:27 PM
As a mom who gave my babies breast milk for only the first 3 months, I don't see a problem with Michelle Obama getting involved to EDUCATE on the health benifits of breastfeeding. The article said the CDC finds the percentage of breastfeeding moms is lowest in African-Americans. The First Lady is a popular figure and many look up to her and would listen to what she has to say. I don't think there should be tax breaks for breast pumps and supplies though. What would be next? Tax breaks on birth control for teenagers?
Angela Morrey February 23, 2011 at 07:49 PM
Good point Tracy. Breast feeding is great if a mom is able to do it. I think it's important that new moms understand the health benefits it will provide their children, and also the cost-savings over purchasing formula. I don't think there is anything wrong with the First Lady educating moms about the benefits, however I think it should be left at that. I don't think the government needs to offer tax breaks for that too. As far as work places offering nursing mothers a place to pump or breastfeed: I know several moms who returned to work and continued to nurse. I have never heard of an employer flat-out refusing privacy for this. Not to mention, many times I see moms nursing their babies with a blanket over their shoulder. By looking at them, you wouldn't know they are even feeding a baby.
Kristy Anderson February 23, 2011 at 09:32 PM
I'm all for Obama educating the uneducated on the importance of breastfeeding. Even more excited to write off a new pump, since mine is on it's last legs & I'm due with a new baby in September. New, good pumps aren't cheap ($300!) Breastfeeding was the hardest thing I've ever done. But I made it for 14.5 months & have a very healthy 18 month old, who has never had an ear infection or a cold. Plus, it's free! You can't beat that!
T. Niels February 23, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Considering that Michelle Obama is a First Lady and not an elected official, I don't consider anything she says as being part of the government's official stance. Does she have influence? Of course. As for the breast feeding/formula decision, I guess that's best left to the individual. I did both!
Bridget February 24, 2011 at 07:44 AM
I did not realize that pumps are going to be a tax deduction. That really makes me upset. I am an advocate for breastfeeding, and I think it is wonderful for the first lady to express her feelings on the benefits. I breast fed my 5 kids for various lengths of time with a terrible supply and a host of other problems that required lots of pumping. But to give tax write offs (or however it's configured) for breast pumps in this economy... rediculous. My 2 children that were the best nursers and were breastfed the longest, have the worse allergies and immune systems of all so it is hard for this educated gal to believe all the studies. If there are tax write offs, they should not be discriminating between nursing vs. non-nursing mothers. Can't they find a better way to spend our nations money and our hard earned tax dollars?
GuitarMan February 28, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Michelle Obama is a private citizen, albiet a well known one. As such, her comment as to the benefits of breast feeding are just that, her comments and opinion. Mrs. Palin has confused everyday opinion with something sinister. Opinion and view points about everyday life, such as breast feeding is not "Big brother", its just everyday conversation and comment. We should encourage open conversation about the things, such as how our kids are fed, without the hype that its sinister, or big brother.

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