Breastfeeding & Healthy Living: The Best Affordable Healthcare

"Prevention is the foundation of public health, and prevention is the foundation of my work as Surgeon General. If we want to truly reform health care in this country, we need to prevent people from getting sick in the first place, and stop disease before it starts."

Dr. Regina Benjamin
Surgeon General of the United States

As many of you know, I was one of 200 guests invited to the White House on Monday for an African American Women's Forum entitled, "Mother, Daughter, Sister, Leader."  Regardless of ethnicity, that pretty much sums it up for all of us.  I will share my excitement of meeting the First Lady, Michelle Obama, in an upcoming post. Yes, I am still on cloud 9. 

We discussed topics relating to women and children such as health care, economics, and education which again, effects us all.  My friend Dr. Worokya Duncan sums up the day very eloquently so you should hop on over to her blog, Duncan Educational Consultants, for her view on the day.  Instead of writing a summary, I wanted to highlight various things that caught my attention and affect the mothers, daughters, sisters, and leaders who read

I had the pleasure of sitting directly behind Dr. Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General of the United States.  That's THE top doctor in the country.  Wow!  However, she was extremely approachable and really felt like she could be one of my aunts.  I took a photo with her but I don't think I can post it.  Dr. Benjamin is a champion of the power of prevention and says that prevention does not happen AT the doctor's office.  It happens before you get there.

Tobacco Use
Alcohol Use
Poor Nutrition
Drug Use/Abuse

One startling fact, among a few, that stood out for me was that 90% of smokers started lighting up before the young age of 18.  Some of us moms need to have conversations with our children now before it's too late.   I tell my kids to cough uncontrollably when they see a smoker or say, "that stinks."  Proudly, my daughter said it just today.  Ha!  What about the poor children who have to inhale second-hand smoke while their parents drags on a cancer stick while riding to the store?  No chance.  

Breast feeding: It was mentioned that we must support African American women when it comes to breastfeeding.  I don't think anyone in my immediate family breastfed.  My mom attempted to breastfeed with me but I wouldn't latch on.  Fortunately for me, the women at my job in which I worked during my first pregnancy were all very supportive and helped me keep an open mind about it.  I breastfed one child for 10 months and the other for 7 months.  I didn't stop, but my milk did. I was so sad when it ended so suddenly.  I was extremely stressed out and highly recommend that you stay stress free while breastfeeding if at all possible.  Most, if not all, of my friends have breastfed.  See?  Beyonce isn't the first and certainly won't be the last African American woman to breastfeed her child.

The benefits of breastfeeding is that the mom is less likely to get breast or ovarian cancer, and you're children are less likely to be obese. I personally breastfed to keep my children from developing asthma and allergies like their father.  So far it has worked.  

40% of African American and Latino Kids are obese
African American girls have the highest rate of obesity

Healthy Apps Challenge:
Includes healthy eating, physical fitness and apps for children

Stay tuned. There's so much more to learn about my experience.  I simply couldn't put it into just one post.


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