Broward News

Broward Man Inducted Into Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence

Lighthouse Point resident David Duresky is a breastfeeding champion. No, really, there's a a breastfeeding awareness month: August, and a "Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence," into which Duresky has been inducted.

Duresky was awarded $5,000 to "fund research, sponsor continuing education, purchase equipment" and/or "donate to the breastfeeding charity of [his] choice."

The honor is being conferred by a company: Medela, your go-to source for the best in "breast-pump and breastfeeding accessories."

Breastfeeding gets people fired up. Remember the hubub over that famous Time magazine cover? Or the woman who sued Houston's when she was asked to leave after nursing her baby? This week, American Airlines faced a backlash after a viral internet story about a stewardess who offended a nursing mom on a flight.

Duresky, a quality assurance manager at the non-profit Broward Healthy Start Coalition, earned recognition because he launched a breastfeeding training program, which has "trained breastfeeding educators in Broward County and now incorporates a workbook for use in the field." This workbook "will be shared across the state at the Florida Department of Health conference."

Duresky says he became a "lactivist" after discovering that "breastfeeding had a positive impact on efforts to address child obesity, as well as on other health and emotional issues."

(To be fair: an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association says "there are inconsistent associations among breastfeeding, its duration, and the risk of being overweight in young children." And as Hanna Rosin wrote in The Atlantic: "the strongest predictor of the child's weight was the mother's. Whether obese mothers nursed or used formula, their children were more likely to be heavy." A 2005 study by Health Services Researchthat examined the relationships "between breastfeeding history and 15 indicators of physical health, emotional health, and cognitive ability" found the "long-term effects of breastfeeding have been overstated.")

In its press release announcing its Hall of Excellence honorees, Medela noted that the rate of moms who started to nurse newborns rose from 73.8 percent in 2004 to 76.5 percent in 2010. "At Medela, we know this trend has a lot to do with breastfeeding advocates like the ones we honor today."

Medela will be providing free access for "the first 1,000 enrollees to their online 'Breastfeeding University' during the month of August." Homework will reportedly "support moms-to-be, moms who are committed to breastfeeding and others who would like to learn tips to become a breastfeeding advocate."

To the moms-to-be who aren't so committed to breastfeeding, August will be over soon.

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Erica K. Landau