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2011 State of Breastfeeding in the U.S. | Best for BabesBest for Babes

2011 State of Breastfeeding in the U.S.

by Bettina Forbes, CLC | November 22, 2011 3:10 pm

This is a one-page summary that we created to send to our celebrity champions for moms, the media and other key influencers that can help us raise awareness of this cause,  change the public perception of breastfeeding, and join us in putting pressure on the Booby Traps, not moms.  It is not comprehensive, it is a snapshot of the urgency of this issue.   Printable PDF version is available here: BfB State of US Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, like exercise, is one of the most highly preventive and cost-effective ways to protect the health of mothers, babies, the  population, and the planet.  Yet, the U.S. has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding among industrialized countries and one of the highest rates of infant mortality. Our rates of breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, and asthma are growing at an alarming pace. It is estimated that normal breastfeeding rates could save the U.S. $13 billion and 911 lives annually on health care & associated costs for just 10 diseases. Suffering & anguish is epidemic.

U.S. Breastfeeding Rates: 86% of expecting mothers who want to breastfeed are being “Booby-Trapped“– actively prevented from exercising their basic human right and instinct to nourish and nurture their young and protect their own health.  75% try breastfeeding at least once, yet only 13% make it to 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding.  Compare that to Sweden, where 98% try and 79% are nursing at 6 months!  Mothers are being urged to breastfeed but set up to fail:  60% do not reach their personal breastfeeding goals, whether that’s 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years, and it is not their fault.

Booby Traps:  In the predominantly bottle-feeding U.S., mothers face a gauntlet of cultural and institutional barriers to breastfeeding:

[1]Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2007. AHRQ Publication No 07-E007.
[2]  Harder T, Bergmann R, Kallischnigg G, Plagemann A. Duration of breastfeeding and risk of overweight: a meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2005; 162:397-40
[3] Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Feb;200(2):138.e1-8. Epub 2008 Dec 25.
*Am J Epidemiology. (2000) 152 (12):1129-1135.

©Best for Babes, 2011.   Please feel free to print BfB 2011 State of US Breastfeeding as a handout, or link to this page.


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