In the First World, when one is treated as a First World citizen, (for there are those who are not) a pregnant woman is given a battery of tests to insure that she is healthy. All effort is made to monitor that mother to be to insure that she will give birth to a healthy baby.
Many women have various vitamin deficiencies. This is often caused by menstruation. Some women are alert and realise there is a problem, i.e. too heavy or too frequent, and get to their doctors in good time so that the problem can be, if not corrected, than managed.
In cases where it is not managed, the woman will wind up with serious deficiencies which makes breast feeding contra-indicated.
In 3rd and 4th world nations it is not unusual to see bow legged children. That is children who were born with serious calcium deficiencies. Being breast fed compounded the problem. Simply put, if the mother has a deficiency, so will the child. And the likelihood that child will have weak bones is virtually a given.
This is because, in 3rd and 4th world nations there is very little monitoring. The women often do not, unless they are wealthy, seek early medical supervision. The women, unless they are wealthy, do not have the money to buy the various medications proscribed.
Many children are breast fed in the 3rd and 4th world who, if they were born to a 1st World woman, getting 1st World care, would not have been breast fed.
Simply, but obviously put, if the mother has a deficit the child will have that deficit. And where the child pulls the nutrients from the mother it is not shocking to see young women, in the 3rd or 4th world, toothless by the age of twenty five, looking as if they are sixty before their fortieth birthday.
The fact is, neither shocking nor unknown, the poor have fairly poor nutrition. They can’t afford the vitamin packed food, they don’t eat as frequently, and they stuff on junk food to fill their bellies.
After World War II, countries all over the world, including 3rd and 4th world nations, received various supplements; powdered milk and vitamin enriched flour because it was known that the shortages of the 1940s took their toll.
Many women gave birth to healthy children who were fed powdered milk and formula because in those days many women were discouraged from breast feeding. These children grew up and were healthy because effort was made to insure they were healthy.
By the late 1960s, early 1970s, many of these supplements were stopped so that by the 1980s every woman was expected to breast feed, whether or not she was healthy.
The ‘Breast is Best’ campaign did not take into consideration that many women had deficiencies. There was no screening, no testing, the woman was to breast feed and the subject was closed.
The poor woman breast fed and the child often suffered because she might not have had enough milk or enough nutrients in that milk to ensure the child’s health.
It is not shocking that beginning in the 1980s the number of strange and previously unknown conditions began to emerge in the population. This was often due to poor nutrition.
The cavalier approach to women’s health must be countered. Women need to have health care, free health care to insure they produce healthy children. Pregnant women especially need to be monitored so that any problem can be revealed, and where not corrected or correctable, at least prevented from damaging the baby.
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