Breastfeeding Is Best, But Moms Need Help

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The American Dietetic Association, the nation's largest professional organization of nutritionists and dietitians, has come out even more strongly in favor of breastfeeding, calling it the "optimal feeding method for infants."

But its report was also quick follow that statement up, in its very diplomatic and roundabout way, with a call for a lot more support and encouragement than moms are getting right now.


CafeMoms in the Breastfeeding Moms group couldn't agree more:

Arisce: "I think America is slowly moving in the right direction. I'm a little concerned though that we're going to push breastfeeding and not give women any actual support, which will create even more bad feelings toward breastfeeding."

lyndallsmom: "It's all well and good that these groups are encouraging something that should never have been discouraged in the first place. I, however, would like to see more promotion. I'd much rather see ads and commercials for breastfeeding than these stupid car ads, fast food ads, and diapers ads."

The report outlined numerous benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child. Nothing earth-shattering, but here's the summary you've all heard before:

Health benefits of breastfeeding infants include:

  • Enhanced immune system
  • Reduced risk for nonspecific gastroenteritis, severe lower respiratory tract infections and asthma
  • Protection against allergies and intolerances
  • Promotion of correct development of jaw and teeth
  • Association with higher intelligence quotient and school performance through adolescence
  • Reduced risk for chronic disease such as obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and childhood leukemia
  • Reduced risk for sudden infant death syndrome.

Benefits for the mother include:

  • Strong bonding with infant
  • Increased calorie expenditure, which may lead to faster return to pre-pregnancy weight
  • Faster shrinking of the uterus
  • Reduced postpartum bleeding and delays in the menstrual cycle
  • Decreased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • Improved bone density and decreased risk for hip fracture
  • Decreased risk for postpartum depression
  • Enhanced self-esteem in the maternal role
  • Time saved from preparing and mixing formula
  • Money saved from not buying formula and increased medical expenses associated with formula feeding.

Do you feel that new moms aren't encouraged and supported in breastfeeding as much as they should be from the outside world?

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