The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that babies should breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and continue to breastfeed along with the introduction of appropriate solid foods for 1 year or longer. Healthy People 2020 Objectives set a target of 60.6% for breastfeeding at 6 months and 34.1% for breastfed babies at 1 year. We come in just under the 6 month target with a 57.6% rate and we have barely just exceeded the 1 year target with 35.9%. We also exceeded their target set at 81.9% for Ever breastfeeding with 83.2%. These rates vary across states and regions. Arkansas falls between 40% and 50% of breastfed babies at 6 months. Texas is just a little higher falling between 50% and 60%.
More often than not, Mom stops breastfeeding early. Many factors influence why this happens, such as no support from family and or friends. Support is very important while breastfeeding. Especially from your husband and those who are important to you. An unsupportive work place could also be an influencer. A working Mom may need to pump 2 to 3 times a day during working hours. If her work place does not have a private area to do so or does not allow the time to do so it could discourage Mom from continuing baby on breast milk. Mom may also have concerns with medications while breastfeeding, concerns about baby's nutrition and or weight, or with latching and or lactation. I breastfed my oldest son for 6 months, and my youngest son for over a year. I stopped short with my middle son at only 4 months. Looking back, I wish I had of continued for at least 6 months or more. My reasoning was just plain selfishness on my part. I was working and pumping and breastfeeding. At the time, I was just ready to stop.
We support breastfeeding! We support pumping! We support Mama doing what is best for baby as well as for her.
How can you support breastfeeding? Mama's - Breastfeed! Family & Friends - Let Mama know she is doing a great job and that you support her breastfeeding! If you see a Mama breastfeeding in public - Be encouraging!