Breastfeeding rates on the rise
More mothers are choosing to breastfeed their babies, according to a new study.
In 2013, eight out of 10 newborns started out breastfeeding, which shows most mothers want to breastfeed and try to do so, according to a new report from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
However, the organisation also said their research has shown that many mothers stop sooner than recommended. About half of infants are still breastfeeding at six months of age and fewer than one-third (30.7 per cent) are breastfed at 12 months, the CDC claims.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life, followed by breastfeeding along with other foods until at least 12 months of age. After that, the organisation says breastfeeding can continue as long as the mother desires.
"We are pleased by the large number of mothers who start out breast-feeding their infants," said the CDC’s Dr. Ruth Petersen.
"Mothers can better achieve their breastfeeding goals with active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, health care leaders, employers and policymakers.”
Beside nutritional benefits, breastfeeding is recommended by paediatricians as it can protect babies against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, stomach bugs and some allergies.
The CDC further recommended that governments and organisations promote breastfeeding through education programmes, improved maternity care practices in hospitals, peer and professional support for new mothers and sufficient space and equipment to breastfeed or express breast milk in workplaces and childcare centres.