First Lady Michelle Obama will highlight breastfeeding as a way to reduce childhood obesity in her "Let’s Move!" campaign, Politics Daily reports.
Obama will not directly ask mothers to breastfeed, but will encourage those who choose to, her communications director said, citing the sensitive nature of the issue. Let’s Move executive director Robin Schepper told Politics Daily that Obama wants to make breastfeeding easier for mothers to do outside the home.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics found babies who were breastfed for the first four to six months of their life were less likely to be overweight or obese than children who were formula fed and began eating solid foods before their fourth month.
In a push to get more women to breastfeed, the administration has also advocated for more feeding-friendly offices and the Internal Revenue Service last week announced it will offer a tax break on purchases of breast pumps and other nursing supplies. As part of the landmark health care reform bill the president signed into law in March, certain employers are required to give nursing mothers a break and a place to pump milk for the first year of the baby’s life.
The first lady is also encouraging hospitals to provide better care for infant feeding as part of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund's "Baby Friendly" initiative.