Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fighting the obesity epidemic - kids are not doomed in the womb...

Breastfeeding's role

Raleigh News and Observer
Modified/Published Tue, Jan 18, 2011 02:00 AM

Thank you for the wonderful series on how to address the obesity epidemic.

Concerning "Doomed from the womb?", certainly obesity during pregnancy is associated with many risks for a mother's health. However, it is important for moms who are fighting the battle of the bulge to know that they are not dooming their children from birth.

While the rate of height increase is indeed pretty much set in the womb, this is not so with the rate of weight increase. We have a window of opportunity to modify this at birth and to set the new baby on the path to proper weight gain. An important step on the path is supporting every mom in considering and succeeding in early and exclusive breastfeeding. Those dangerous overfeeding behavior habits are just not possible with breastfeeding. The breastfeeding baby will take only what it needs for good growth.

Exclusive breastfeeding is good for mothers and infant health, and it is an available intervention to help prevent a continuing cycle of obesity. Obese moms who exclusively breastfeed their babies can set the next generation on a path to a healthier rate of weight gain.

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