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New Study Shows Breastfeeding Can Save Lives and Money

Breastfeeding can be a difficult and demanding commitment for new moms. Some find it impossible to do so due to physical limitations or other demands, such as working. But the Pediatrics study reports that if 90 percent of mothers breastfed exclusively for six months, we would see tremendous survival and financial benefits. Currently, the CDC reports that 74 percent of women start breastfeeding. Of those 74 percent, 33 percent exclusively breastfeed for three months, and the number drops to 14 percent at six months.

Researchers suggest that pressure to increase the breastfeeding rates should not be placed on new moms, but instead should fall on medical professionals. The study stresses the importance of new mothers getting adequate encouragement and support before and after the birth, and recommends medical professionals do the following:

  • Promote immediate skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby, to help the newborn act on its natural instincts to suckle.
  • Educate new moms on the importance of breastfeeding.
  • Help new moms receive adequate support when they leave the hospital for any breastfeeding issues or complications.
  • Educate older generations, for whom formula-feeding may have been the norm, about the benefits of breastfeeding.
  • For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding and how to overcome breastfeeding obstacles, visit La Leche League International at http://www.llli.org/.



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