County health department recognizes Franklin Park resident for her work
The choice of whether to breast-feed has more implications than many people know, Dr. Sylvia S. Choi of Franklin Park says.
The risks associated with formula feeding include increased occurrence of ear infections, obesity, diabetes, celiac disease and hypertension later in life, said Choi, an associate professor of pediatrics with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Choi, 44, was recognized last month by the Allegheny County Health Department for her work to promote the advantages of breast-feeding to medical students and new mothers, in addition to her support of mothers who breast-feed their babies.
She was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the health department during a Women, Infants & Children Program staff meeting on Sept. 11.
Dr. Brian W. Donnelly, a pediatrician at Pediatric Alliance, North Hills Division, nominated Choi for the award.
“I admire her dedication,” said Donnelly, 53, of Gibsonia, who also serves as president of the county health department's Breast-feeding Coalition.
A graduate of the Boston University School of Medicine, Choi has been practicing pediatrics for 19 years. She said she was surprised to hear she had won the award.
“We're very fortunate here in Pittsburgh to have so many experts in the area of breast-feeding. I look up to many of them,” she said.
Kathy South is a registered dietitian and the breast-feeding coordinator for the local Women, Infants & Children Program, administered by the county health department.
“Breast-feeding is the feeding method of choice for most infants' and mothers' health,” she said.
The Atlanta-based International Formula Council, an association of manufacturers and marketers of formulated nutrition products, such as infant formulas, challenges the idea the choosing formula to feed babies can result in disease.
“The International Formula Council supports breast-feeding and agrees it offers specific child and maternal benefits. However, statements that breast-feeding prevents disease or that formula feeding increases the risk of disease are misleading and lack support; the scientific data in many cases are inconclusive,” Mardi Mountford, the executive vice president of the IFC, said in a written statement.
“Claims regarding potential detrimental health effects due to the absence of breast milk (and, by implication, the use of infant formula) are likely to cause unjustified worry among mothers who may formula-feed their infants.”
Choi refers to breast milk as “designer formula.”
“Breast milk is specifically tailored to match the particular needs of each individual child,” she said.
Choi's goal is to break down the barriers that prevent new mothers from breast-feeding their babies.
“Society is not very supportive of breast-feeding. We don't make it feasible for moms to breast-feed during the first year of an infant's life,” said Choi, citing the lack of public places suitable for mothers to breast-feed babies and employers who do not provide time or space for new mothers to pump their milk. “I feel very passionate that, as a society, we can eventually change that.”
Laurie Rees is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Photo Gallery “Toddler and Preschool Fitness” at the Northland Public Library
- ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ gives Hampton native opportunity to shine
- Award-winning North Hills band director takes teaching music to new octave
- Detours continue for traffic, pedestrians along Ingomar Road
- Millvale library turning toward solar power thanks to Sun Club donation
- Abstinence before marriage is the message of show coming to Baden, Pine
- Pine recognized for conservation efforts
- Pine-Richland grad running for magisterial district judge
- Business as usual despite Perry Highway work
- Recycling efforts growing at Hampton’s Poff Elementary
- Pine-Richland eighth-grader earns Eagle Scout award