Michelle Obama on Impaired Breastfeeding and Infant Mortality
OPEN LETTER TO FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA ON THE HIGH RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IMPAIRED BREASTFEEDING BONDING AND INFANT MORTALITY NOT ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE SURGEON GENERALʼS CALL TO ACTON TO SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING 2011; CALLS FOR WEANING AGE OF EVERY INFANT/ CHILD BE RECORDED AND PUBLISHED AS PART OF THE IMMUNOLOGICAL RECORD BY THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS, CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION; AND ESTABLISH BY LAW THE GENDER EQUALITY OF REPRESENTATION IN THE CONGRESS.
James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
The excess health risks associated with not breastfeeding are well known and acknowledged by The Surgeon Generalʼs Call to Acton to Support Breastfeeding 2011 but the psychosocial effects are little mentioned except to note the enhanced feeling of bonding by breastfeeding with no mention of its powerful relationship to infant mortality (p.3). Child Obesity, not mentioned, is a lesser health risk than infant/child mortality. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/calltoactiontosupportbreastfeeding.pdf http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/IM_BF_Homicide_Stats_Update_2010.html
The 2010 AAP Policy Statement: Child Fatality Review. Pediatrics 2010; 126; 592-596
The preventable death of a child is an unparalleled tragedy for a family. Similarly, a nationʼs ability to reduce child mortality rates is a measure of that societyʼs overall well being, and failure to address preventable causes of child mortality is a national tragedy. Each year in the United States, more than 17 000 infants and children die from injury, which remains the leading cause of child mortality in the United States.1 Add to this the number of preventable noninjury deaths, including many deaths related to prematurity, and it becomes clear that a majority of American child deaths are preventable. —Introduction
This author has initiated a dialogue on this AAP Policy Statement that can be found In Pediatrics
Breastfeeding Mothers are rarely violent toward their nursing infants and children which points to a solution for preventing the high infant mortality rate and its relationship to homicide. http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/IM_BF_Homicide_Stats.pdf
This writer wrote DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on 27 January 2011, which outlined these facts with additional supporting evidence but have received no acknowledgement of this and other communications.
Additional Commentary and Letter of 22 February 2011 to First Lady Obama HERE.
Overpeck, et al (1998), NICHD investigators, reported "Homicide is the leading cause of infant deaths due to injury accounting for almost one third of such deaths in 1996…. More than 80 percent of documented homicides in very young children can be viewed as fatal child abuse, and there is strong evidence that both homicides and fatal cases of child abuse are underaccounted" (p.1211).
The problem of underestimating child abuse homicides in our society is reflected in a retrospective descriptive study of child abuse homicides in North Carolina from 1985-1994 by Herman-Giddens, et.al (1999). They found that the ICD-9 cause of death coding underascertained child abuse homicides by 61.6%. These studies have yet to be conducted for the other 49 states by the NICHD that would give a true national profile of the magnitude of child abuse homicides.
Brenner, R.A., Overpeck, M.D., Trumble, A.C., DerSimonian. R., and Berendes, H. (1999).
Deaths Attributable to Injuries in Infants, United States, 1983-1991 PEDIATRICS Vol.
103 No. 5 May, pp. 968-974
Herman-Giddens, M.D, Brown. G ., Vberbiest, S., Carlson, P.J. Hooten, E.G., Howell, E., and Butss, J.D.,, (1999). Underascertainment of Child Abuse Mortality in the United Sates. JAMA 282(5): 463-467.
Overpeck, M.D. Brenner, R.A., Trumble, A.C., Trifiletti, L.B., Berendes, H.W. (1998). Risk Factors for Infant Homicide in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine V339 (17
The NIH publication of the Report of the Panel on NIH Research on Antisocial, Aggressive, and Violence-Related Behaviors and their Consequences (April 1994) stated: "Violence constitutes the second leading cause of death for youth in America, and it poses a health risk for persons of all ages"; and "To date, investment across all Institutes and ICDs in violence-related research has been minuscule relative to the total NIH budget (i.e.0.5%)." View Page 138. http://www.violence.de/history/NIHR_1994.html
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) informed this writer on 17 February 2011 that the “NCHS does not produce rankings for infant mortality by States”, which denies to State officials and researches the information needed to evaluate the worst States to take corrective actions. The publication of State Rankings on infant mortality must be a priority for the NCHS. See attachment.
It is inexcusable and unconscionable that this nation has such a disgraceful record of infant and child mortality, which contains a significant component of homicidal behaviors that includes violence against women. The intentional disregard by public health officials of these data calls for immediate corrective actions.
Madame Obama, you are urged to take the corrective actions that are necessary, which public health officials refuse to take.
1140-23 Savannah Road
Lewes, DE 19958
22 February 2011
First Lady Michelle Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500-0004
Dear First Lady Obama,
You are to be commended for your support of breastfeeding in your efforts to help control obesity in children. There are, however, greater issues in the breastfeeding of children not addressed by Anne E. Kornblut in her article “Views on breast-feeding become political”, The Washington Post, 2.20.11; and in The Surgeon Generalʼs Call to Acton to Support Breastfeeding 2011, U.S. Public Health Service, DHHS recently released by Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., USPHS. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/calltoactiontosupportbreastfeeding.pdf
Both of these reports neglect to mention the long-term psychosocial effects of insufficient breastfeeding on infant survival, which are staggering. In my letters to DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and DHHS Surgeon General Benjamin, I stated from reports on distribution of breastfeeding duration and infant mortality for 2004 by the Center for Disease Control, the following:
90% (9/10) States With Less Than 15% of Children Breastfeeding At 12 Months Have
Highest Infant Mortality Rates
83% (10/12) States With Greater Than 25% of Children Breastfeeding At 12 Months Have Lowest Infant Mortality Rates http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/IM_BF_Homicide_Stats_Update_2010.html
These letters are enclosed requesting remedial actions on the neglect of the DHHS to cite the overwhelming evidence of breastfeeding for the survival of infants and their emotional-social well being with supporting documentation and correspondence with NIH officials over the past five years.
Infant mortality could be virtually eliminated if all infants were breastfed, wherever possible, throughout the first year of life.
In 2005, the United States ranked 30th in infant mortality among 31 advanced nations of the world (CDC); and 46th among the 224 nations of the world (CIA World Factbook, 2010, est.). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db23.htm
No State records the number and percentage of infants who die during the first year of life who are being actively breastfed at the time of their death. It is requested that you request from Secretary Sebelius to act to provide from each State the number and percentage of children who die during their first year who were being actively breastfed at the time of their death; and that the Weaning Age of each child be made part of the immunological record and published along with the infant and child mortality rates for each Sate by the National Center For Health Statistics.
These data would provide an invaluable resource for determining the actual benefits of duration of breastfeeding with accuracy not currently available to researchers.
Your defense of breastfeeding mothers is sorely needed.
The gender equality of women in the legislative bodies of this nation is a necessary condition to bring full equality of women with men. You are urged to make this a reality. http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/Gender.pdf
It is recognized that violence against women and her children is the greatest crime against Humanity and I am including a copy of my DVD The Origins of Love & Violence: Sensory Deprivation and the Developing Brain which describes decades of research supported by the NICHD that illuminates the origins of human violence and what we must do to transform our Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace.
James W. Prescott, Ph.D. Director
Michael Mendizza Founder and Director Touch the Future http://ttfuture.org/welcome
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Subject: RE: Infant Mortality Ranks by State
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:39:54 -0500
Thread-Topic: Infant Mortality Ranks by State
From: "NCHSED (CDC)" <email@example.com>
NCHS does not produce rankings for infant mortality by States.
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Subject: RE: Infant Mortality Ranks by State
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[THREAD ID:1-1YF2XN] [SR No.:1-118301294]
Subject: Infant Mortality Ranks by State
15 Feb 11
Could you provide me with the Ranks of Infant Mortality by State per
Table 32, p 114 Deaths: Final Data for 2006 of the NCVS Report.