Tara - posted on 04/16/2011 ( 101 moms have responded )
Breast-feeding for the first six months, by 90% of US women would save the life of 900 babies and billions of dollars every year.
Breast-feeding can prevent deaths and expensive illnesses which include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.
Breast feeding has numerous health benefits such as antibodies in breast milk help babies to develop strong immune system; it also can affect insulin levels in the blood which causes less chance of obesity and diabetes to be develop in babies.
Around $13 billion is the estimated loss due to the low breast-feeding rate. The health authorities are trying several mediums to educate people about the benefits of breastfeeding.
Only 43% mothers in US give some breast feeding for six months, out of which only 12% go for only breast milk for their babies.
Dr. Larry Gray, a University of Chicago pediatrician, expressed that because of jobs and some other demands, it is impossible for the mothers to go for breast feed for six months for their babies.
Several medical associations urged Congress to reserve $15 million per year to support breastfeeding in the United States.
Now if only they could spend some of that 15 million on federal maternity leave programs so that when women do want to breastfeed to six months they can actually do it without having to go the bathroom at work and pump like mad just to ensure their baby gets breastmilk while they are working. Funding mat and paternity leave would do wonders for the low rate of breastfeeding in the US. To me that's a no brainer.