Breast-feeding could save lives, money

Breast-feeding could save lives, money

Breast-feeding could save lives, money

The article says:

The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women breast-fed their babies for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says(….)

The findings suggest that there are hundreds of deaths and many more costly illnesses each year from health problems that breast-feeding may help prevent. These include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia(…)

The methods were similar to a widely cited 2001 government report that said $3.6 billion could be saved each year if 50 percent of mothers breast-fed their babies for six months. Medical costs have climbed since then and breast-feeding rates have increased only slightly.

The article ended by saying that women shouldn’t be blamed if they don’t breastfeed, and that hospitals often give formula to babies even if the mothers intend to breastfeed. It’s good for everyone to realize that supporting mothers in breastfeeding is something that is good for mothers, babies and society in general.

To see how Washington state compares to the rest of the country (pretty well), take a look at the CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card for 2009.

In 2009, Open Arms had a 94% breastfeeding initiation rate among our clients. There are so many benefits to breastfeeding – benefits to mother and baby. I am glad to see national attention continue to focus on supporting breastfeeding.