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.