Health Topic of the Day: Breastfeeding

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www.thehindu.com

Today’s health topic is all about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is usually defined as a mother providing her infant with food/milk from her breast. It was commonly practiced in the past (nowadays it is more prominent poor/rural areas) in when mothers had to provide for their babies with their own milk and the availability of baby formula or food was not as common. The practice of breastfeeding gradually faded in human society as it advanced. But recent studies showed that we should get back to breastfeeding as it was proven to be more nutritious and beneficial to both the mother and child.

What are the benefits of breast feeding?

  • Breastmilk has all the nutritions and antibodies passed from the mother to the infant which can contribute to the baby’s overall health and growth
  • Builds a bond between the mother and child
  • Breastmilk is easy for the baby to digest
  • Mothers can choose on how long they want to breastfeed
  • Breastfeeding can help reduce cost for baby formula/food for a period of time
  • For more info on the benefits of breastfeeding, click here!

According to CDC:

  • 4 out of 5 (81.1%) started to breastfeed. High breastfeeding initiation rates, or the percentage of infants who start out breastfeeding, show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so.
  • In Minnesota :
    • Breastfeeding rate at 12 months increased from 35.8% to 41.0%, a total of 15% increase.
    • Exclusive breastfeeding at three months went from 48.6 to 53.9 percent, an 11-percent increase.

“These rates make Minnesota a top breastfeeding state in the nation, ranking seventh for beginning breastfeeding (initiation) and fifth for breastfeeding at six months.

Though the percentage of women initiating breastfeeding in the Minnesota WIC Program has risen from 63 percent to 80 percent since 2001, some women face more barriers to breastfeeding and are initiating at lower rates. Minnesota breastfeeding rates vary significantly by race and ethnicity. MDH and partners promote public health strategies that make it easier for all Minnesota women to breastfeed. This work includes supporting peer counseling and breastfeeding friendly policies and practices in hospitals, workplaces, childcare settings and the community.” – http://www.health.state.mn.us/

 

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