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Old January 30th 12, 02:43 PM posted to,,,
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Default What Happened to Breastfeeding on Sesame Street?

By Ann Tracy Mueller

I have to admit. It’s been years since I made a visit to Sesame Street. I
won’t give away my kids’ ages, but let’s just say one is Gen X and the
other a millennial. And, when my older grandchildren were Sesame Street
age, I didn’t watch it with them.

So, I’ve been out of Big Bird’s neighborhood for a while, but
neighborhood gossip tends to travel.

I’ve heard some parents have concerns, and more than 30,000 of them have
signed a petition because Sesame Street no longer shows mothers
breastfeeding babies.

I can understand their concern. In a nation where 17 percent of children
between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese, breastfeeding is one way to turn
this trend around.

Joan Younger Meek, MD, MS, RD, IBCLC, is chair of the United States
Breastfeeding Committee. In a February 2010 release on the committee’s
website, Meek says, "Multiple studies have shown that a history of not
breastfeeding increases the risk of being overweight or obese in
childhood and adolescence. Adolescent obesity often persists into adult
life. Breastfeeding plays an important role in obesity prevention and
improving overall health outcomes, and therefore is vitally important to
public health."

Curbing obesity, of course, is just one of many benefits mothers give
their children by choosing to breast feed them.

The buzz is that Sesame Street programming only shows bottle feeding
these days.

An Today article includes this email response from the program
as its explanation:

“Sesame Street is a research-based educational program for
preschoolers. Each new season is designed to teach a specific
curriculum; this year’s curriculum is science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM). Sesame Street does not have a
mandate against breastfeeding, and the show never made a
switch to portray bottle-feeding only. We have depicted
breastfeeding in the past, and would include it again in
the future if it was a natural part of the storyline.”

Well, gee, Sesame Street, last time I checked, biology was a science.
And, there’s more biology at play in the act of breastfeeding than there
is in a baby bottle, I’d say.

Here is a clip from the bygone days of the ’70s and ’80s when Sesame
Street showed breastfeeding babies and their mommies on the show:

And here is a more recent one:

My youngest grandchild, breastfed like her mother, aunt and cousins, is
just three months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics says she
shouldn’t watch TV until she’s two, so we’re not watching Sesame Street

I have to admit, from a health care communicator’s point of view, I’m
kind of hoping that those petitions work, the show comes to its senses,
and that in 21 months, when we “get to Sesame Street,” we’ll see a mommy
feeding her baby just like in the “good old days.”

By the way, in an online poll accompanying the Today Show article, 75
percent of readers agree with me.

Mr. Bush's disfavor in Washington owes more to his greatest success.
Simply put, there are those who will never forgive Mr. Bush for not
losing a war they had all declared unwinnable.