More and more Latinas say: Suck on a bottle; not my breast
Wanted to share a few paragraphs from an article in this past weekend´s New Mexico newspaper. As we all now, breast feeding is customary throughout Latin America, but more and more Latinas are having their babies suck on a bottle instead of a breast. Find out why below and let us know if you agree? Leave a comment and let us know.
For Blasa Rodríguez, raising her children in Chihuahua, Mexico, was in many ways easier than watching her daughter raise children here in the United States.
Breast-feeding, for example, was the norm because there were no alternatives. Powdered milk was rarely an option for women. Once children grew, they drank cow’s milk in a cup.
“There was no bottle-feeding — the breast was it,” Rodríguez said during a health session at La Familia Medical Center in Santa Fe. Chávez, unlike her mother, said she stopped breast-feeding her first son, now 2, because nursing caused too much pain and because she had to return to work.
“I was working long hours. When was I supposed to pump? I didn’t have time. He cried because he was hungry, so I just gave him the bottle,” Chávez said.
In the United States, immigrant women feel the need to change their ways, said Dr. Mario Pacheco, associate vice president for Hispanic health at The University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center and a family doctor at Pojoaque Primary Care.
“If they are given the information and (breast-feeding) is something that is discussed with them, then these women are very ready to breast-feed,” Pacheco said. “There is no proof, but I think a lot of immigrant women think they are expected to bottle-feed. They think in many ways (powdered milk) is more nutritious.”
Darlene Montoya-Spiess, breast-feeding promoter and certified doula at La Familia, said some women also feel they should bottle-feed because the formula can be accessed for free here in the United States. It’s a tempting option, especially if they work. That’s why Montoya-Spiess gives each woman a “license to breast-feed” card that explains the state law that requires an employer to allow space and time for a woman to pump her milk.
Promoting a healthy diet while gestating and breast-feeding is Diana Gonzáles-Pacheco’s priority. She’s the registered dietician at La Familia.
For the immigrant community, life is different here. In their countries, most women walked everywhere, hand-washed clothing and had time to cook meals at home, Gonzáles-Pacheco said.
“A big part of it is a change in lifestyle. Immigrant women are working here and have less time to cook,” Gonzáles-Pacheco said.
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