Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin issues a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” Urging Removal of Obstacles Faced by Women

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Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin issues a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” Urging Removal of Obstacles Faced by Women

On January 20, 2011, U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released a “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” which outlines steps that health care systems, organizations, and communities can take to support women who want to breastfeed and remove the obstacles many of these women face. Emily Kane, founder and owner of milkmakers, applauds Dr. Benjamin for making this key health care issue a priority. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 percent of U.S. babies start out breastfeeding, but only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed at six months old. The rates are particularly low among African-American infants. The World Health Organization recommends babies be given breastmilk exclusively for the first six months of life. According to the “Call to Action,” breastfeeding helps protect babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, vomiting, ear infections, pneumonia, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop asthma, and those who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Dr. Benjamin’s “Call to Action” identifies many ways that families, health care systems, communities, and organizations can support breastfeeding, including: expanded peer support programs; paid maternity leave; programs that allow mothers to bring their babies to work; on-site childcare; and adequate breaks and private spaces to pump breastmilk.  Surgeon General Regina M.Benjamin

It’s encouraging to see the U.S. Surgeon General extolling the benefits of breastfeeding and urging everyone to break down the obstacles so many women face every day,” says Kane. “I’m so happy to see this very public support for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.”

As stated in the “Call to Action”, a national study, published in the October 2008 issue of Pediatrics, found that nearly 50% of mothers who stopped breastfeeding cited insufficient milk supply as a reason for stopping. Kane founded milkmakers, a Seattle-based baking company that makes nutritious, delicious cookies to support nursing moms in their efforts to provide an abundant supply of breastmilk to their babies, to help these women.

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding is available online and as an archive webcast at: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/. To order printed copies of the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” and other materials, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO or email cdcinfo@cdc.gov and reference the publication title.

For more information about milkmakers, or to place an order, visit www.milkmakers.com.

About milkmakers: milkmakers is a Seattle-based baking company whose unique cookies help nursing moms provide a plentiful supply of breastmilk to their babies. Emily Kane, a working mother of three who was looking for a way to increase her own breastmilk supply after the birth of her first daughter, experimented with traditional remedies and recipes to create milkmakers. Her chocolate chip cookies contain oats, brewer’s yeast and flax seed, key ingredients that provide essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein. To find out more information about milkmakers, or to place an order, visit www.milkmakers.com. Also available on the company’s website are links to additional resources for breastfeeding moms, as well as suggestions for finding a lactation consultant and dietician.