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Aug 4, 2010 5:58 PM by Kate Mundy

Breastfeeding Controversy

A debate about breastfeeding is pitting mother against mother. In an interview for UK Harper's Bazaar, Supermodel Gisele Bundchen said, "some people here think they don't have to breastfeed. And I think, are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little? I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mother's should breastfeed their babies for six months."

The ladies on The View took up the issue on Wednesday. It also sparked debate online. On KATC the subject got more than 50 responses. Many defended a woman's right not to breastfeed, saying some women "try" but just can't do it. Most agreed that making it a law is not a good idea.

New mother Jill Millet says it's a personal decision. "I completely understand someone else's choice not to," said Millet. The mother of two is breastfeeding her second child, telling KATC it's the healthiest option for him and most natural for her. "They think it's a beauty object but it's not, it was made for breast feeding," she said about a woman's breasts.

According to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, only half of new mothers in Louisiana try to breastfeed, compared to 71-percent nationally. By six months, the rate drops to around 19-percent compared to the national rate of 36-percent.

Lafayette General Medical Center Lactation Consultant Jennifer South says there's no better meal for baby than breastmilk. Benefits include higher IQ scores, fewer ear infections and allergies, and lower rates of obesity. "For moms it decreases their chances of reproduction type cancers, breast cancer also decreases your risk for heart disease and osteoporosis for babies it gives you all the immunities you need to start off your life in a healthy manner," said South.

This week is World Breastfeeding Week.

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