Breastfeeding is on the rise, new Centers For Disease Control stats reveal, due to initiatives within hospitals to promote the practice.
The new breastfeeding numbers are quite promising, indicating three out of four new mothers at least attempt to breastfeed their babies after birth.
Breastfeeding is a win-win for families that manage at least some level of human milk feeding for their babies, as the cost is lower than formula and the health benefits are measurably significant. The practice is linked to a stronger immune system, lower rates of obesity, and even possibly higher IQs in breastfed infants.
Recent stats reveal that breastfeeding is now even more widely practiced, with half of babies receiving breastmilk for at least six months. That’s up from just 35 percent back in 2000.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden says of the jump in breastfeeding:
“This is great news for the health of our nation because babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers.”
He adds that a jump in breastfeeding rates means reduced costs overall from a variety of contributing factors:
“Also, breastfeeding lowers health care costs. Researchers have calculated that $2.2 billion in yearly medical costs could be saved if breastfeeding recommendations were met. It is critical that we continue working to improve hospital, community and workplace support for breastfeeding mothers and babies and realize these cost savings.”
Of the new breastfeeding stats, CDC researcher Jessica Allen said that higher rates of breastfeeding translates to “healthier moms and healthier babies.”
Hospital practices that promote breastfeeding were credited with the encouraging new stats, with the first 24 hours after birth considered the most important in establishing a healthy breastfeeding relationship.