PSYCHIATRISTS suggest that smoking is a childish habit.
To make a clean breast of it: a grown-up hasn’t eased off the warmth of bonding with mom as she allows the milk of human kindness to be suckled, providing nourishment and a steady rhythm of her heartbeat thrumming like a gentle lullaby that hushes her beloved child to sleep. Simply divine.
Maybe that can explain why the world’s top-selling brand of smokes is tipped with the color of a woman’s teats. That evokes the sheer sensuality of mom-and-child bonding. Hear out U2’s Bono: “Time won’t leave me as I am but time can’t take away the boy in this man!”
So easy a return to the carefree time of childhood via a smoke. That may explain why history professor Thomas W. Laqeur averred for an aversion: “Smoking is a ritual, and it has all the numinous force of a ritual.”
Local health authorities say that only 16 percent of Filipino mothers breast-feed their children for the first six months of their lives despite the numerous benefits from breastfeeding.
Studies show that breast-fed babies are more resistant to disease and infection than formula-fed children. Too, they are less likely to contract a number of diseases later in life including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15.
Too, recent studies have shown that children who were breast-fed are significantly less likely to become obese later in childhood. Formula feeding is linked to about a 20 to 30 percent greater likelihood that the child will become obese.
People who were breast-fed as infants have lower blood pressure on average than those who were formula-fed, it was added. Not surprising that other studies have shown that heart disease is less likely to develop in adults who were breast-fed in infancy.
Breast-feeding is a cheap mode of birth control. When a woman gives birth, nurses her baby, she protects herself from becoming pregnant again too soon—the mode is found to be 98 percent effective.
A total of 3,738 nursing mothers recently took part in a mass breast-feeding in Manila to make it to the record books, maybe wean mothers away from using formula feed.
As our old folks used to say: “Ang gatas ng tao para sa tao, gatas ng hayup para sa hayup.”