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

A Taste of India for Special Occasions! posted on Mar 27

A Taste of India for Special Occasions!

At WIC, we are very fortunate to have so many staff members from different countries and cultures.  In this week’s blog, Kinnari Chitalia, RD, LDN, CLC, Nutritionist at the Dorchester North WIC Program, shares a favorite recipe that can be made at any time, but   …Continue Reading A Taste of India for Special Occasions!

Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People posted on Mar 27

This week marks the commemoration of National LGBT Health Awareness Week. At DPH this is not only an occasion to celebrate the strides that we as a Commonwealth have made in reducing disparities in health care and health outcomes among people who identify as lesbian,   …Continue Reading Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People

Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015 posted on Mar 27

The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in the Commonwealth over the past seven days, which is consistent with what we would expect to see at this point of flu season. Flu does however continue to be present   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015