“A prospective employer wanted to interview her for an executive position, but she was home on maternity leave and still breast-feeding her newborn second daughter. “I didn’t have a babysitter,” Obama recalls now, with an unapologetic shrug. “So I went in there with the stroller and did the interview. And Sasha slept through it, thank goodness.” Obama got the job, as a community affairs director at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where her boss, Susan Scher, calls her behavior at the interview quintessential Michelle: “It was, ‘This is who I am, and this is my life.’”
The above story is from an interview with Michelle Obama in People Magazine, the year before she became First Lady. That kind of attitude says a lot about Michelle Obama’s support for the challenges you may be facing in your lives as new moms. She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, and she clearly believes in the issues that are important to most moms. Her personal campaign against obesity has attacked the epidemic from many angles, and at many stages of life—starting with the importance of breastfeeding.
Michelle was particularly pointed about the low rates of breastfeeding in black communities. A new study makes this even clearer. A poll of several thousand black women showed that far fewer black women than white women even attempt to breastfeed, and that black women are less likely to continue breastfeeding if they run into any hurdles. The reason most often given for feeding formula rather than breastfeeding was personal preference. The study’s authors found that black women were generally not aware that breastfeeding had benefits for moms and babies, and instead seemed to think the two feeding options were equivalent.
Michelle’s education campaign aims to give moms the information they need to make the healthiest choices for their children from the start. Given this mission and the latest research, I wouldn’t be surprised if she came out swinging on the subject of prenatal diet as it relates to childhood obesity. Michelle Obama did not win the Most Powerful Woman In The World ranking by simply being married to the president. She got that honor because of what she does. Obama is a fighter who knows how to get her message across. I’m just glad that when it comes to this stuff, at least, she’s fighting for our team. Congrats, Michelle, I have high hopes for the success of your efforts!
Photo: Insidefoto / PR Photos