Surgeon General’s Call To Action: Some Highlights

Now this is something I can get used to. This is something that I love!

The Surgeon General has released a Call To Action to Support Breastfeeding. It’s about time right? 

They acknowledge that 

“For much of the last century, America’s mothers were given poor advice and were discouraged from breastfeeding, to the point that breastfeeding became an unusual choice in this country.” 

I don’t know how or why this ever happened. It’s sad to think that mothers who were trying to do what was best for their child were made to feel weird or wrong in any way. 

They also quote some research that really hit home with me: 

The risk associated with some relatively rare but serious infections and diseases, such as severe lower respiratory infections and leukemia are also higher for formula-fed infants.  The risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract disease in the first year of life is more than 250 percent higher among babies who are formula fed than in those who are exclusively breastfed at least four months.

 Furthermore, the risk of Sudden Infant Death syndrome is 56 percent higher among infants who are never breastfed. For vulnerable premature infants, formula feeding is associated with higher rates of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

 The AHRQ report also concludes that formula feeding is associated with higher risks for major chronic diseases and conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity, all three of which have increased among U.S. children over time. 

As shown in Table 1, compared with mothers who breastfeed, those who do not breastfeed also experience increased risks for certain poor health outcomes. For example, several studies have found the risk of breast cancer to be higher for women who have never breastfed. Similarly, the risk of ovarian cancer was found to be 27 percent higher for women who had never breastfed than for those who had breastfed for some period of time.

 In general, exclusive breastfeeding and longer durations of breastfeeding are associated with better maternal health outcomes. 

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How absolutely amazing is that?

And if the health benefits don’t sway you the money might 😉 

In the first year along you can save anywhere from $1,200-1,500 by not having to buy formula! Along with better health for both mother and child comes less insurance claims and less time off of work to care for children which means higher productivity which in turn means more money made! 

A Study done in 2001 on the economic impact of breastfeeding for ear infections, diarheea/vomiting and NEC found that by increasing the amount of children breastfed would have saved 3.6 billion annually. 

3 point 6 BILLION annually. That’s AMAZING. 

The Surgeon General’s call to action goes on to discuss numerous things including ways to support the breastfeeding mother in your life. 

They also talk about how more children breastfeeding {and hopefully one day all} has an environmental impact. Less formula being purchased means less containers being used. Less formula-fed babies also means less bottles being used which means less waste. According to an article referenced in The Surgeon Generals Call to Action “For every one million formula-fed babies, 150 million containers of formula are consumed”. 

That’s a lot of waste. 

Here are some more highlight of the Call to Action: 

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and here’s another one comparing Race and Social Factors

and by state: 

 I don’t think it’s a coincidence that West Virginia is one of the poorest and most obesity ridden states and their breastfeeding rate is less than 55%. 

I highly suggest you read it if you  know anyone that’s going to breastfeed or if you plan on or are thinking about Breastfeeding. In fact I plan on printing it out and giving it to my neighbor who I feel can really benefit from this information! 

Read More here

Who was your biggest support breastfeeding? Or what stopped you from breastfeeding? 

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