International Natural Medicine
Breastfeeding: Obesity, Diabetes and Asthma PreventionPosted  February 26th, 2013 by Anjanette Davenport Hatter

When it came to breastfeeding my two amazing
children,  it was an easy choice to make. I wanted to be sure I provided my
children with  the very best start in life and I understood that breast milk was
considered the  very best first food. Being born African American, we are
already predisposed to  developing many chronic illnesses and I wanted to be
sure to do everything  within my power to minimize those incidents for my

Breastfeeding decreases the risks for obesity, diabetes and asthma. As a 
nephrology social worker, I see firsthand the consequences of obesity that can 
lead to diabetes and ultimately chronic kidney disease. According to Center  for Disease Control (CDC), a recent study
among Michigan’s children aged  2-5, 16.3% were overweight and 13.3% were obese.
Is anyone other than myself  alarmed by those figures?

So many people fail to understand how breastfeeding could impact those 
figures. It appears that there are people out there in the universe who under 
estimate the power of breast milk. More and more research is finding that the 
longer an infant is breastfed, the lower the risk they have of being overweight 
and obese as they grow older.  Breastfed infants learn to control the  amount of
human milk and calories they consume better than bottle-fed infants,  who are
often forced to continue feeding and finish a bottle after they are  satisfied.
It makes perfect sense. Apparently, energy-dense infant formulas may  stimulate
the endocrine system to secrete more insulin and growth factor than  human milk
does, which leads to increased rates of body fat in formula-fed  babies.

Interestingly, breast milk contains unique hormones that affect a baby’s 
appetite, sense of fullness, and help stabilize baby’s blood sugar levels,  thus
minimizing the likelihood of developing diabetes. According to National  MOTTEP, approximately 2.3 million
African Americans have diabetes. This  astonishing statistic further reinforces
the grave importance of breastfeeding  our children, specifically African
American children who are at greater risk for  chronic illness and

When it comes to asthma, breast milk continues to work its wonderful magic.
The American Lung
explains that  asthma is one of the most common
chronic disorders in childhood. The strongest  links in research for
breastfeeding’s impact on asthma were seen with wheezing  and persistent phlegm,
as children were more likely to develop these symptoms if  they had never been
breastfed. How about that?

I am happy to report that my children, ages 2 and 7 have experienced very few
  colds, zero ear infections with no asthma history and are overall happy and 
healthy children. I am proud of my efforts in maintaining their optimal health 
and am fortunate to have an incredible support system found with my husband and 
extended family. It is my sincere hope that my African American community soon 
embraces the concept of breastfeeding and its many benefits to mom and baby. 
This can be accomplished by increased awareness, education and support within 
the community.

As a Board member of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding  Association
(BMBFA), I’d like to share that we are a growing force in the  community to aid
breastfeeding families. BMBFA, based in Detroit, MI aims to  eradicate the
racial disparity in breastfeeding rates among African American  women. We offer
one-on-one and group breastfeeding support, information and  education. BMBFA’s
Breastfeeding Club meets regularly, for more information  please visit In the meantime be safe,  be happy
and breastfeed!

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If you're reading this and you're a woman, PRAISE THE LORD!  You're on your way to health and wellness.  Why not make the journey together?

Women's health is faaaarrr more than PAP smears and Breast exams!  We are complex creatures and we can turn the tides of everything from an election to a failing home-life.  But why can't we get rid of cramps, PMS and bad relationships?

Much of our health disparities come from the fact that we take care of everyone and anyone--often at our own expenses.  Even if you are a married woman with a great husband--in some way, as a Black (African-American) woman, you are less likely to take care of yourself!  We're a lot better than the generations before us, however the demands on our lives are MUCH, MUCH greater mentally, emotionally and psychologically. 

We are expecting more--more emotional fulfillment, more money, more love, and a deeper, better relationship with God--through Jesus.  However, we have quite a few "ISSUES" that are still plaguing us.  It's time for a CONCLUSIVE, DISTINCT AND WONDERFUL CHANGE.

One year ago today, I was inaugurated as the 1st Black female president of any Naturopathic Medical School.  The next day, my relationship ended--devestating, stunning and leaving me extremely confused and disgusted.  In the grand style of the LORD JESUS, I had to keep moving--my VP and I had a team of people, an entire student body (leader of leaders) counting on us--so my feelings, my emotions got pushed aside.

So, my journey to women's health--maybe similar to many of yours, maybe not so much--depends on spiritual, emotional and psychological healing and factors that influence the very physiology of my body.

Come and join me for a wonderful, vast and exciting journey of TRUE women's health and healing!  Feel free to contact me with ideas, questions or comments.  I believe TEAMWORK makes the DREAM WORK!

Love and blessings!



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