World Breastfeeding Month: Week Two - Investing in our Future!

It is important that we recognize investing in Breastfeeding not only impacts families, but has global healthcare impact as well. Undernutrition is estimated to be associated with 2.7 million child deaths annually. It is estimated that optimal breastfeeding can save the lives of over 820,000 children under the age of 5 worldwide. Currently, about 36% of infants 0-6 months are exclusively breastfed. The World Health Organization’s latest goal is for 50% of infants to be exclusively breastfed by 2025.  Together, and through supportive measures, we can strive to achieve this goal.

If children breastfeed within an hour of birth, they are more protected from acquiring infections and have a reduced mortality rate. This is extremely important not only in developing countries, but in the United States as well.

 

Children who are breastfed have:

  1. A reduced risk of Middle Ear Infections.
  2. Decreased respiratory tract infections and a decreased risk of hospitalization for these infections.
  3. A decreased risk of serious colds or ear/throat infections (up to 63% if breastfed exclusively for 6 months).
  4. A decrease in Gut infections- up to 64% and this lasts for 2 months after breastfeeding.
  5. A  Reduction in the risk of SIDS the first year of life.
  6. A decrease in developing celiac disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  7. A decrease in developing Diabetes
  8. A decrease in developing Overweight/Obesity

 

Moms who breastfeed have:

  1. Better weight loss after delivery
  2. Less blood loss and their uterus returns to normal size much faster.
  3. A lower risk of postpartum depression.
  4. A decreased risk of ovarian or breast cancer
  5. A lower risk of High Blood Pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes if you breastfeed 1-2 years over your lifetime.

 

We know that Breastfeeding plays a huge impact in reducing long term health costs. But, remember, our goal is to support your family unit in making life long healthy choices- no matter how you choose to feed your baby.

Author
Ivy M. Bagley MSN FNP IBCLC Ms. Bagley, a family nurse practitioner for 12 years, enjoys seeing patients of all ages at Children’s Health Services. She is a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) who works with breastfeeding moms/babies through office visits and their online breastfeeding support group. She recently obtained a Certificate of Advanced Education in Obesity Medicine. She is an active member in OMA, AANP, ICLA, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and within the community. Recently, she began an online group, “Blessed and Healthy Families,” with the goal of educating families on overall health and well being. She has a specific focus on obesity. Ms. Bagley owns Creative Blessings Photography and serves many local groups through her photography. She enjoys her family and spending time traveling. Her life verse is “All things work together for those who love The Lord." Romans 8:28 God Bless!

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