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Breastfeeding and Y2K
Protecting out infants against the possiblility of the Millennium Bug.

I'm on several e-mail lists that have been discussing the Year 2,000 Bug on and off. Mostly, I've read the discussions and kept my mouth shut formulating my own thoughts on the issue. This morning, though, a thought clicked in my mind, and now I have to speak. So, here are my thoughts on Breastfeeding and Y2K.

Some experts are predicting the computer roll-over to the dreaded double zero will bring with it complete disaster, the end of the world as we know it, while others are saying it won't even cause a glitch. I believe, like most, that the truth of the matter falls somewhere in between the two extremes, but the question remains, where?

When it comes to infant feeding, any interruption in our power or water supplies for more than a brief interval can spell disaster for formula feeding moms. Whenever there's a natural disaster of any sort and people are asked to donate food and supplies, baby formula is always high on the list ~ the premixed ready-to-drink kind because water supplies are unreliable and electricity is unavailable. But a natural disaster is usually confined to a limited geographic area that can be assisted by those of us not affected.

With Y2K looming ahead of us, we have a very different situation. A situatation that will be far more widespread than a natural disaster, but a situation for which we have many months to prepare. If even some of the Millennium predictions come true, we can expect an interruption, perhaps several weeks in length, in our power and water supplies. Mothers will be unable to properly sterilize bottles and nipples and won't have fresh, clean water for mixing formula. This creates the real possibility that babies will become seriously ill or even die. As breastfeeding advocates, one of the best things we can do to safeguard infants for the millennium is promote breastfeeding more strongly than ever.

We all know the effect formula can can have on an infant's health, but now the stakes are higher. If mom chooses formula, and is then unable to provide safe formula, or any formula at all, the baby's very life is in danger. It is important that mothers understand how vital this "choice" is. It is up to us to get the word out. If you know an expectant mother, encourage her for all you can to make a choice that will provide stability and protection for her infant should some of the fears and predictions come true! And then be there to assist her along the way.

Sadly, there will be those who will choose to feed their babies formula in spite of the warnings. So, toward the end of the year, I would encourage those of you who have a generator to run your freezer (or have access to one at a friend's, neighbor's, church, or wherever) to consider pumping and storing some of your own milk so you can provide healthy, safe milk to a mom and infant should the need arise.

What a statement to the "Bottlefeeding Without Guilt" crowd. They've been able to minimize the dangers of formula and put one over on the public thus far, but should Y2K bring any of the expected problems, many more will see through the lies to the truth, "not only is Breast Best, it's the only healthy choice." So, while I prepare for the coming millennium, I just pray that my preparation are in vain. And while I would like another opportunity for the Gold Standard of Infant Feeding to shine forth, I truly hope it doesn't come by endangering babies because of their mother's poor choices.

Militant Breastfeeding Cult
Breastfeeding by Design

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