Post Content

Kara Ghiringhelli,Posted by:
Kara Ghiringhelli, Department of Public Health 

Kara is a Nutrition Education Specialist at DPH.

If you are an avid news watcher like I am, it was hard to miss last week’s media coverage of breastfeeding.  This most recent media blitz on breastfeeding is due to a new study on breastfeeding published in the Journal of Pediatrics.  This study confirms what we’ve always known—that breastfeeding is not only healthier, but can save money in healthcare costs. In fact, this study states that if 90% of new moms were to breastfeed their babies for the first 6 months of life, 900 lives could be saved, several costly illnesses may be prevented, and as a result about $13.1 billion dollars in healthcare and other costs each year would go unspent.
 
With all the benefits of breastfeeding—both from a health and a financial standpoint—it’s enough to make me wonder why more moms out there are not exclusively breastfeeding their babies.  I have a feeling that it’s not that moms don’t want to breastfeed.  We know that most moms do try to breastfeed their babies—74% of moms initiate or at least try to breastfeed their babies, according to this study.  But the number of moms who continue to breastfeed drops down dramatically soon after birth.  By 3 months of age, only 33% of infants are exclusively breastfeeding, or receiving no formula, and by 6 months of age, only 14% of infants are exclusively breastfed.

I think that this dramatic shift between birth and 6 months of age has a lot do with the lack of support out there for breastfeeding mothers and our society not viewing breastfeeding as the ‘normal’ method for feeding babies.  If moms are trying to breastfeed their babies when they are born, it’s obvious that there isn’t  a lack of knowledge on mom’s part.  So what is happening to these moms if they feel the need to supplement with formula?  What needs to change in order for moms to continue to breastfeed their babies? 

Please share your thoughts.  We’d love to hear from you!

Share on Facebook.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Constipation Concerns for Children: Diet and Activity Can Help! posted on Apr 25

Constipation Concerns for Children:  Diet and Activity Can Help!

  By Rachel Colchamiro and Cara D’Anello Believe it or not, constipation is a pretty popular topic of conversation among parents of young children—at least it was in my house when my kids were little!  It’s tough to know when things are normal or when   …Continue Reading Constipation Concerns for Children: Diet and Activity Can Help!

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule posted on Apr 23

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Most parents vaccinate their children according to CDC’s recommended immunization schedule, protecting them from 14 potentially serious diseases before their second birthday. We are lucky in Massachusetts that we have high vaccination coverage for the majority of recommended vaccines. In fact, for children 19-35 months of   …Continue Reading Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018 posted on Apr 20

Rates of flu-like illness rose slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. There is still flu vaccine available if you have not gotten a flu shot. Call your healthcare provider or visit https://vaccinefinder.org which offers listings for local boards of health   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018