Why Mothers Are Not Breastfeeding Long Enough

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald December 10, 06:00 pm

A recent survey shows that over 80 percent of mothers in the United States breastfeed but less than one-third of them continue breastfeeding their babies within the recommended one-year period. Doctors have stressed the benefits of breastfeeding for years and while they have successfully convinced mothers to do just that, they have to do more by telling these mothers to breastfeed their babies for a longer period.

Breastfeeding has many benefits and it include lesser cold, ear infections and hospitalization for babies who are breastfed. It has also reduced the chances of Sudden Infant Disease Syndrome (SIDS) by 50 percent. KXAN noted breastfeeding experts in Danville's Hendricks Regional Health have started a campaign to help mothers who need help in breastfeeding their babies every Wednesday.

"We're doing a pretty good job of convincing moms, yes, you should breastfeed, but we're not doing a really good job of making sure that they have the support that they need," Debbie Beck, a registered nurse and lactation consultant and also the chairwoman of the Hendricks County Breastfeeding Coalition said.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 80 percent of mothers have tried breastfeeding but only half of them have continued doing this for six months. Dr. Emily Scott, IU Methodist newborn unit medical director, said it is a decision that has to be made by the family so they have to be told about the benefits of breastfeeding early on.

According to ABC News, one of the factors being eyed for the shorter breastfeeding period is the lack of support from society and workplaces, as well as the aggressive marketing of companies manufacturing infant formulas. These companies that are reportedly earning around $1 Billion from the formulas, however, denied the claim and said they are recommending and supporting breastfeeding.

NBC News said the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that only human breast milk should be given to babies until six months although they should continue breastfeeding for up to one year or more. Aside from producing healthier babies, breastfeeding also helps mothers get back to their weight before pregnancy and help reduce ovarian and breast cancer risk.

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