Wednesday, May 23, 2007


First, I'd like to encourage you to read the comments from yesterday's post WIC-Friend or Foe? The comments highlighted some very important points about the problems with folks abusing the WIC system. Another commenter pointed out that many of the areas within the WIC program DO provide breastpumps and do encourage breastfeeding. I grew up in two very small Kansas towns and yes, I've seen abuses of the program as well. Overall, I have very conflicted, yet cynical feelings about most such programs because often there is little incentive for someone to enable themselves once they start getting benefits. In particular it is difficult when living on government assistance becomes a multi-generational situation and the result is that the 2nd generation doesn't really know any different kind of life. I wasn't sure I wanted to bring that up in my original post, but yes, I've seen clear cases myself where the program has been abused and where clearly some women are just along for the free ride and the government cheese.

Okay - today's article --- it's stories such as this one in the Guardian that burn me. Seriously. Basically, what happened is that a breastfeeding Ugandan mother in the UK is being detained separately from her children (a 4 week old and a one year old, respectively). We've had some similar issues in our own country as well with separating deportees who are breastfeeding their children - what complicates this UK case is that there appears to have been some mental issues with the mother. While I understand that detainees and children maybe can't be kept together, I think it is unconscionable that a breastfeeding mother wouldn't be allowed access to even a breast pump in order to keep her milk supply going for when she is reunited with her child. Despicable.

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