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It is suggested that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life and then receive breast milk along with solids to complete the full year. While most people understand this is very healthy for young babies, it is also healthy for moms as their bodies continue to adjust to life after pregnancy.
A new study has been done that shows many women do not meet the breastfeeding goals they set for themselves. Many new moms, around 85%, aim to breastfeed their newborns. However, according to research 42% of these women will stop breastfeeding within the first three months and 15% stop before they even get out of the hospital.
There have been many hospital initiatives to encourage breastfeeding and to encourage it for a certain length of time. It is, after all, the best form of sustenance for newborn babies. Plus, it allows a woman's body to react naturally post-childbirth. According to research, most women who successfully meet their breastfeeding goals are women who have had children previously and have either solid marriage or a long-standing committed relationship. The study also found that most of the women who did not complete their breastfeeding plan were obese, smokers or set long period goals that are difficult for any mom to meet.
Looking into hospital initiatives, there are two points in the "Baby Friendly" 10-steps women are instructed with. The first is to nurse baby within the first hour following birth, and the second is to never supplement with formula. Even if you aren't comfortable breastfeeding, or are a busy working woman and dad stays home with the kids, using a breast pump can help you give your baby the nutrients he/she needs during the first year of life.
Tell us! What do you think about these statistics? How can women better meet their breastfeeding goals?