Breastfeeding - what the experts say

Deciding to breastfeed

According to the US government, breastfeeding rates continue to rise. 

Breastfed Ever: 76.9% 

Breastfeeding at 6 months: 47.2% 

Breastfeeding at 12 months: 25.5%

Exclusive Breastfeeding at 6 months: 36.0%

Exclusive Breastfeeding at 12 months: 16.3%

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/reportcard2.htm

 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding has a wealth of benefits for both mom and baby. 

Most health professionals are familiar with the benefits of breastfeeding. The AAP continues to support the unequivocal evidence that breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions in the infant such as:

  • bacteremia
  • diarrhea
  • respiratory tract infection
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • otitis media
  • urinary tract infection
  • late-onset sepsis in preterm infants
  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin's disease
  • childhood overweight and obesity

 

There are also maternal health benefits to breastfeeding such as:

  • decreased postpartum bleeding and more rapid uterine involution
  • decreased menstrual blood loss and increased child spacing (lactational amenorrhea)
  • earlier return to prepregnancy weight
  • decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers
     

Source: http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/policyOnBreastfeedingAndUseOfHumanMilk.html

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