Friday, February 25, 2011

Catholic mothers debate breastfeeding and government involvement :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Denver, Colo., Feb 25, 2011 / 02:21 am (CNA).- Although they agree on the numerous benefits of breastfeeding, prominent Catholic experts on motherhood are at odds over government attempts to promote the practice in the fight against childhood obesity.

Republican leaders recently asserted that Michelle Obama's efforts to increase breastfeeding among mothers in the U.S. were the work of an intrusive “nanny state.”
Experts Sheila Kippley – author and co-founder of National Family Planning International – and Terri Aquilina, writer and La Leche League counselor, joined the debate this week. While the two held the same views on the need to encourage breastfeeding, they differed on the topic of government involvement.
Kippley said: “How many bishops, priests, parishes, pro-life groups and Catholic doctors promote exclusive breastfeeding?” she asked, noting the need for breastfeeding mothers to be supported at
Mass and other Church events.

Kippley also said that Church “has a unique opportunity to increase the physical and emotional health of babies and mothers alike” through its pre-marriage programs. Kippley said that if every diocese required engaged couples to attend Natural Family Planning courses that address the benefits of breastfeeding, the practice “would be increased considerably.”
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