Research has shown that breastfeeding benefits to the babies are multiple, however, that seems to have become an ancient wisdom for modern day women.
A new study has found that of the 75 percent of U.S. babies who start out breastfeeding, only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at the end of six months.
AdvertisementSix months of exclusive breastfeeding is the American Academy of Pediatrics' minimum recommendation. The rates are particularly low among African-American infants.
Diane Spatz, of Penn Nursing has joined Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin to develop and promote the Surgeon General's "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding".
"The Surgeon General's Call to Action is unprecedented. We're looking at the science of the provision of human milk," said Spatz, an expert in breastfeeding and in high-risk pregnancy.
"It's a life-changing thing. It influences both the mortality of infants, and also how healthy they are."
According to the "Call to Action," breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia.
Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop asthma, and those who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.
Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
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