Thursday, August 12, 2010

Five Things Your Mother Didn't Tell You About Breastfeeding

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month! By now, most of us know about the great health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mother. Of course, breastfeeding isn't right for every family. But as a mother who has been lucky enough to experience the joys of breastfeeding, I'm celebrating. So In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2010, I've compiled a list of facts that may surprise you about breastfeeding:
  • The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding (along with complementary foods) up to 2 years of age or beyond. (See the WHO's webpage on exclusive breastfeeding.)
  • According to a study in Denmark, what mom eats can flavor the breast milk for up to eight hours. AND breast milk flavor may even affect baby's food preferences later in life. How is it possible that Nate doesn't like chicken???
  • Even though breastfeeding is the most natural first food for a baby, it doesn't always come naturally for everyone. According to a poll done by, 56% of first-time moms reported trouble breastfeeding and 41% still had issues with Baby #2 and beyond.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year. But according to a 2006 survey by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only 73.9% of babies in the United States were ever breastfed and only 22.7% of those infants were still breastfeeding at 1 year.
  • Norway, Denmark & Sweden have the highest breastfeeding initiation rates at 99%, 98% and 97%. (Had to include this fact in honor of my Norwegian grandmother!)
Are you or someone you know expecting a baby? Check out this awesome giveaway at Best for Babes.
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