NORFOLK -- World Breast Feeding Week has sparked all sorts of initiatives to get women to breastfeed their children and to make images of it more normal.
Breast Feeding Week promotes the benefits of breast milk
The owner of Kimberlin Gray Photography in Virginia Beach, Amanda Mcghee, has dedicated a large part of her business to capturing the images of breast feeding mothers. She says, 'As a society, we show skin in so many other ways on TV and when a mother is nursing her child it's seen as something that needs to be covered up. I think that that's wrong.'
One of her customers, Christy Daly, just gave birth to her daughter Lennon seven weeks ago. She says 'Now that I am a mom I realized what a big deal it is. I see stuff on the news the Facebook feeds about how much of a big deal it really is to breast feed in public and you wouldn't think it's anything to bat an eye at it. '
CHKD lactation consultant, Kitty Katz, says mother's should focus on the benefits for babies when struggling with the decision to continue breast feeding. She says 'Things are changing. Insurance companies are covering it more now to have a lactation consultant. It's important for mothers to know that their milk is made for their children and it has all of the healthy microbial properties they need. It helps with preventing obesity and diabetes, too.'
As far as research happening in the field, Dr. Stephen Buescher at EVMS said the field of microbiomics has been looking more closely at breast milk, particularly the role it plays in colonizing infants with the beneficial bacteria they need. This kind of research fits into the overall body of work looking into the maternal microbiome. Essentially, scientists are learning that things we used to think were sterile, such as breast milk, are not; they are actually important pathways for bacteria to move from mother to child.
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