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A Raise In Breast Feeding Rates: More Babies Being Breast-Fed At Birth

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the "old ways" were the best ways? This is especially true when it comes to breastfeeding. In fact recent research has revealed that breastfeeding infants has many benefits for mother and child.

Well, now new studies show that this not so new trend is once again catching on. In fact, statistics show that in 2007 three quarters of babies born in the United Stated were breast-fed at least for a little while; and this reflects a decade-long increase. However, the proportion of infants still being breast-fed at 6 months and 12 months had stopped according to studies.

These new numbers reveal that the percentage of breast-fed babies at birth met the goal established by the government's Health People 2010, but the decrease in breast-feeding for 6-months olds and 12-month olds did not. In fact it fell short of the Healthy People 2010 goals by 50% and 25% respectively.

In addition. statistics show that breast-feeding rates at birth in 2007 were very different based on demographics, with the higher rates concentrated in Western States. And, rates of breast feeding at 6 months and beyond showed even greater demographic diversity. According to studies, compared to Louisiana, three times as many 6-month olds were still being breast fed in Oregon. Furthermore, five times as many one-year olds were still being breast fed in Oregon and Vermont as in Mississippi.

Experts note that the numbers probably reflect the culture's acceptance and views on breast-feeding both at birth and at certain stages and ages in a baby's growth and development; as well as the mother's perception of her place and social responsibility in how to raise her child.

Other contributing factors include state-by-state income and education levels, say experts.

According the that stats, less than 4% of births in 2007 in the United States took place in facilities that met UNICEF and the World Health Organization's criteria for being classified as "baby-friendly". According to the CDC, one of the primary stumbling blocks that facilities run into with regard to being considered "baby-friendly", is continuing to accept manufacturer samples of formula often given to mother's upon release.

West Virginia practically tied with Mississippi for the lowest percentage of breast-fed babies in 2007. And, that according to the experts is especially important, especially in West Virginia since they have a high obesity and chronic disease rate. Experts add that there is a connection between breast-feeding and both these "problems".

Furthermore, according to experts, many working women face greater challenges, which is why many never even attempt to breast-feed. And, typically work environments don't offer a private place to pump.

Still experts remain optimistic about the new health care reform and the new provision that calls for unpaid break time and a private nursing space for hourly employees.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > A Raise In Breast Feeding Rates: More Babies Being Breast-Fed At Birth

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