I got a nasty, personally attacking comment on one of my latest posts and at first I was going to just delete it — because there is no room for nasty, personally attacking comments on Dagmar’s momsense.
But then I got over feeling undeserving of such an unkind comment and decided to respond instead — because it’s an opportunity to educate that particular reader and others about the fact that breastfeeding helps with the proper development of an infant’s oral cavity and other often-overlooked benefits of breastfeeding.
Here is my response:
Nicole, I wish you would have googled “breastfeeding and oral health” before your wrote such an attacking comment.
It is widely known that breastfeeding DOES make it less likely that L will need braces. See all that space L has between his teeth on the top? It was his dentist who pointed out that it’s great to have that much space for the larger, permanent teeth to come in and that it comes from breastfeeding. Kids who use a bottles or pacifiers are more likely to need braces.
I’m no expert; don’t take my word for it:
(This article was selected by UNICEF as the “Breastfeeding Paper of the Month” for July, 1998.)
“…another compelling benefit to exclusive breastfeeding: positive effects on the development of an infant’s oral cavity, including improved shaping of the hard palate resulting in proper alignment of teeth and fewer problems with malocclusions (misalignment of teeth or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches)…
During breastfeeding, the infant has to work the jaws and tongue in a natural physiological manner to aid in the compression of the lactiferous sinus. This action, plus normal swallowing motions, help to develop proper perioral (around the mouth and jaw) musculature… As the infant uses a peristaltic-like motion to “strip” milk from the mother’s nipple/areolar area, the hard palate is gently shaped by the infant’s tongue to a rounded U-shaped configuration. A physiologically and appropriately shaped palate aligns the teeth properly…”
Breast milk doesn’t prevent cavities, but it doesn’t create them, that is important for people to understand. L’s problems with his teeth stem from the first SOLID foods he got, that’s when his problems started.
Since we have been on top of his tooth brushing, his teeth have stabilized — even though he gets nursed to sleep every night (for the last 5 years). There is my proof that breast milk doesn’t cause cavities.
L’s tonsils were never infected, and if you would have read my posts about the tonsil drama, you would have known that. He seems genetically predisposed to develop large tonsils, just like I did as a kid, my father, and L’s father.
L suffered from sever sleep apnea and they had to be removed, there was no other option. He recovered amazingly fast, thanks in part to breast milk bathing the wounds. He also needed way less pain medication compared to other kids.
When have I ever mentioned God and breastfeeding in the same sentence? That comment is just absurd.
About everything you mentioned about breastfeeding, I couldn’t say it better than Anne Smith, BA, IBCLC, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, certified La Leche League Leader and mom of six breastfed children:
“If you nurse for a year or more, he will receive health benefits that last a lifetime. Long-term nursing protects against ulcerative colitis, diabetes, asthma, Crohn’s disease, obesity, and high cholesterol in adulthood.
Babies who are breastfed for a year or more are less likely to need speech therapy or braces later in life.
There are many benefits of extended breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for at least the first year of your baby’s life.
-Your baby continues to get the immunological advantages of human milk, during a time when he is increasingly exposed to infection. Breastfed toddlers are healthier overall.
-When he is upset, hurt, frightened, or sick, you have a built in way to comfort him. Often a sick child will accept breastmilk when he refuses other foods.
-Many of the medical benefits of breastfeeding (lower cancer risk in mother and baby, for example) are dose related – in other words, the longer you breastfeed, the greater the protective effects.
-Human milk offers protection for the child who is allergic.
-Mothering a toddler is challenging enough – nursing makes the job of caring for and comforting him easier. There is no better way to ease a temper tantrum, or put a cranky child to sleep than by nursing.
– Nursing provides closeness, security, and stability during a period of rapid growth and development.”
You can believe what you want, Nicole, but you might want to educate yourself a bit more about breastfeeding.
And — I wrote a post about commenting etiquette you might find interesting: Netiquette: How to Deal With Unkind Blog Comments
I’m a lactivist, and if this post changes just one woman’s decision to breasfeed her baby after all or longer than she anticipated, I’d be thrilled.