Source for controversial issue of breastfeeding vs. not breastfeeding


Recent polarizing media reports, most notably an article in The Atlantic, entitled "The Case Against Breastfeeding," have questioned studies promoting the health benefits of breastfeeding. The article, in the April 2009 edition of the magazine, also underscored how women are often made to feel inadequate for choosing not to breastfeed, or being unable to, and feeding their babies formula instead.

Suzanne H. Campbell, Ph.D., WHNP-BC, associate dean for Academic Programs at Fairfield University's School of Nursing who is the director-at-large of the Board of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), the professional association for current and aspiring International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, is an ardent advocate for breastfeeding and its "overwhelming" health benefits. Please consider her as a source for articles about this now politicized subject.

In a letter to The Atlantic, Dr. Campbell and fellow ILCA board members contend that the article is a one-sided and incorrect portrayal of research that could have harmful ramifications, especially to "vulnerable populations of women." They wrote that the article "ignores both the exhaustive body of newer research (including those that demonstrate the health impact of breastfeeding on women's health) and the national and international policies and recommendations from NGOs, governments and medical organizations, that are based on that compelling research."

As director-at-large of the ILCA - whose mission is to advance the profession of lactation consultancy worldwide - Dr. Campbell is liaison to the organization's Research Committee, and a reviewer for its publication, the Journal of Human Lactation. Last year, Dr. Campbell presented her paper, "Health inequities for the provision of care for breastfeeding women," at a conference in Vienna, Austria. The paper was translated into German and Polish and the conference was attended by 1,000 health professionals from 53 countries. An advanced practice registered nurse, her research has focused on women's health, breastfeeding, and interactive teaching using simulation. Dr. Campbell, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, was named to The Lactation Association Board after serving three years on the Board for the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 18, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 255