Breast Feeding For Your Baby, CDC Shows Nursing on the Rise

First Posted: Jul 31, 2013 12:27 PM EDT

Recent information from the U.S. Centers from Disease Control and Prevention show that breast-feeding rates throughout the country continue to increase.

In fact, just between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of mothers who said they breast-fed their babies during the early postpartum period has increased from nearly 71 percent to 77 percent.

And for those who continue to nurse their child up until the 6 month period, that number has increased from 34 percent to nearly 50 percent, with some continuing on even past a year, according to the CDC. Those numbers have even seen an increase, as well from 16 to nearly 27 percent.

"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," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said in a statement, via Live Science. "It is critical that we continue working to improve hospital, community and workplace support for breastfeeding mothers and babies."

The benefits of breastfeeding are simply incredible. Health experts believe that breast milk provides the most ideal nutrition for infants through a variety of vitamins, protein and fat, that many infant formulas fail to mimic. It also contains antibodies that help babies fight off viruses and bacteria. Studies have even shown that breastfeeding actually reduces the chance of a baby's risk of catching asthma or allergic infections. And of course, as numerous studies have shown, breastfeeding has been linked to higher cognitive development in some children.

According to the American academy of Pediatrics, it's recommended that infants are breastfed exclusively for six months in addition to giving the baby recommended supplements that help ensure that the child receives all its necessary vitamins and minerals.

The CDC also found that the number of hospitals with practices that promote breastfeeding, such as keeping mothers and babies together after birth, has increased from 30 percent in 2007 to 37 percent in 2011. 

Unfortunately, not all mothers can breastfeed, and even for some that can, hormonal disorders, medications and other problems can cause an insufficient amount of milk for the child. Fortunately, for women who are fixed on providing breast milk for their baby, there are breast milk donors out there that can provide. 

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