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

Weekly Flu Report, April 21, 2017 posted on Apr 21

The latest weekly flu report shows a drop in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. Even so, we can expect flu to continue to circulate in our communities well into spring – so it’s not too late to get a flu shot   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 21, 2017

Weekly Flu Report, April 14, 2017 posted on Apr 14

The latest weekly flu report shows an increase in rates of flu-like illness in the Commonwealth – an indication that flu is unpredictable and that flu season isn’t quite over yet. The good news is that there is still plenty of flu vaccine available if you   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 14, 2017

Feeling Stuck? Break Free With These Tips posted on Apr 13

Feeling Stuck? Break Free With These Tips

Inertia. That feeling of not wanting to do anything, or being so overwhelmed with grief, anxiety, frustration, that it’s hard to do anything. This sluggish feeling can come from mental, physical, or emotional exhaustion, or a general sense of being overwhelmed. The weight of the   …Continue Reading Feeling Stuck? Break Free With These Tips