Breast-feeding rates in the U.S. at an all-time high! Why should I breast feed?
The CDC just reported that breast-feeding in the United States has reached an all-time high and I couldn’t be happier! In 2015 over 80% of mothers started breast-feeding their infants at birth and more than 50% were continuing to do so at six months. Washington, Oregon and Montana led the way with breast-feeding rates of over 90%. Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky lagged behind with rates hovering around 60%.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Human milk is species specific and all substitute feeding preparations differ markedly from it, making human milk uniquely superior for infant feeding.”
Breast-fed infants suffer far fewer childhood illnesses like sepsis and diarrhea as well as respiratory, ear and urinary tract infections. Breast-feeding protects children against cancers like leukemia and lymphoma and finally, breast-fed children are less likely to be overweight or obese and have lower rates of both Type I and Type II diabetes.
Mothers benefit too – mothers have reduced postpartum bleeding, menstrual blood loss, and postpartum obesity as well as decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers when they breast-feed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also points out that breast-feeding families are sick less often, parents miss less work, and breast milk does not require the use of energy for manufacturing or create waste or air pollution in the processing. And remember this, breast milk is way less expensive than formula and is always ready to feed at the perfect temperature.
The CDC claims that success rates can be greatly improved through active support from families, friends, communities, clinicians, healthcare leaders, employers and policymakers. So jump on the bandwagon, the well-being of our mothers and children depend on it.
This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! and I hope this message powers your path and your children’s path to health and happiness.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Breastfeeding Promotion and Support. Online [available at]: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/promotion/index.htm [Accessed December 3, 2016].
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016. Breastfeeding Rates Continue to Rise in the U.S. Online [available at]: http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/breastfeeding-report-card-2016.html [Accessed December 3, 2016].
American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016. Breastfeeding Initiatives. Online [available at]: http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/policyonbreastfeedinganduseofhumanmilk.html [Accessed December 3, 2016].