Breastfeeding Rates Are at an All Time High

According to the CDC, about three quarters of new moms at least attempt breastfeeding for a little while. This is good news for the CDC, good news for hospitals and doctors and good news for newborns!

Education

The CDC attributes the rise in breastfeeding to several factors. The first is various education campaigns to get out the news that breast milk is the best possible foods for infants. Some of these campaigns have been very controversial. . .such as the ad that showed a pregnant woman riding a mechanical bull. The message was clear that you were putting your child at risk by not breastfeeding. Other campaigns have been more subtle, like considering putting warning labels on formula cans.

The Baby Friendly Initiative

Another line in which to communicate the importance of breastfeeding is the baby friendly hospital initiative. In order to earn the title of “baby friendly”, a hospital needs to agree to do certain things to promote breastfeeding. The most widely publicized and somewhat controversial step a hospital needs to take in order to be deemed “baby friendly” is to stop handing out free formula. (Formula is provided for patients who ‘need’ to formula feed, but otherwise, the hospital is formula free.) Becoming baby friendly, incidentally, has proven to save hospitals close to millions per year.

Changing Culture

Our culture is also changing to adapt to the needs of nursing mothers. More and more, businesses are offering mothers the chance to take babies into the workplace, or at least opportunities to pump. Many companies are offering moms positions from home at least part time–and all of this, encourages moms to at least give breastfeeding a try.

There is still more to do in terms of increasing breastfeeding rates. However, this is a dramatic increase over the last few years.

Valorie Delp shares recipes and kitchen tips in the food blog, solves breastfeeding problems, shares parenting tips, and current research in the baby blog, and insight, resources and ideas as a regular guest blogger in the homeschooling blog. To read more articles by Valorie Delp, click here.

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