Friday, October 8, 2010

Breast is best, now that's a tongue twister :)

Recent statistics from the CDC indicate that more women are attempting breast-feeding, but that the amount who continue at 6 and 12 months, respectively, have not changed much.

From the CDC report card, Pennsylvania does pretty poorly, overall, while Nebraska, and the Western half of the US are somewhat better (reaching nearly 50% or more of children being breast-fed at 6 months).

Some of the challenges to breastfeeding are not enough support, both from the immediate social environment, and on a more national-scale. Breastfeeding needs to be widely socially acceptable in order for it to flourish.

I understand that breastfeeding is very challenging (although, I'll have some first-hand experience here soon, so look for an update soon!), but find it frustrating that a quarter of the mothers don't even try to breastfeed initially, and that more than half have quit before 6 months. The benefits of the particular proteins, antibodies and other "good stuff" in breast milk are only now being really hashed out; preliminary results indicate a lower risk for obesity and lower blood pressure for the baby, and a reduced risk of cancers for the mother.

These benefits aren't necessarily reserved for full-time breastfeeders either, even part-time breastfeeding, with supplementation can have a positive impact. So, for those moms that are physically unable to produce enough milk, even a little is good, don't give up completely!

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