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Picture of Yvonne L. C. Bronner, Sc.D., R.D., L.D.
Yvonne L. C. Bronner, Sc.D., R.D., L.D.: Profile

"Mothers' milk is the most exquisite nourishment available to newborns. Breast-fed babies are healthier, have more resistance to infections and gain other immunities from their mothers. Recent studies even identify a higher curiosity and intelligence among breast-fed babies," according to Dr. Yvonne L. C. Bronner, director of Morgan State University's Doctorate in Public Health Program, and former assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Yet, strongly held beliefs such as: "Modern mothers don't do that sort of thing"; "It's not proper to expose yourself in public"; and "Working mothers can't breast-feed" have all but erased what was a tradition of breast-feeding just three or four generations ago.

To help combat today's higher incidence of illness among African American newborns, Dr. Bronner is populating target communities with breast-feeding advocates, information and instructional techniques. Through a peer education program, she reaches many new mothers who receive assistance and who might otherwise miss the message. Dr. Bronner teaches doctors, nurses and other health care providers the importance of and techniques for breast-feeding, and she works with hospitals. "We need more baby-friendly hospitals that support breast-feeding programs instead of infant formula."

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