There was an incredible op-ed piece in the New York Times yesterday by enlightened author Nicolas Kristof about using breast milk as the cure for so many children's deaths in third world countries. It really was rather shocking to read that too many of these countries have very low breastfeeding rates; they are too poor to buy artificial milk and yet somehow they do, using contaminated water. How did this happen? Breastfeeding is free, easily accessible and breast milk protects children from numerous diseases and infections. In fact here in the U.S. nearly 1,000 babies lives would be saved from breastfeeding.
While I admit that there are a variety of reasons for this, I can't help but be a little suspicious and cynical because breastfeeding has been undermined by big business for decades here in the U.S. and abroad. Breastmilk is free, natural and can't be patented (at least not yet) which may be one of the reasons it's not been its not being promoted. The West has tremendous influence on the rest of the world and until we as a society are committed to breastfeeding we will continue lose the lives of millions of children every year. So read the article and judge for yourself.