Dear Milk Mamas,
I love this video. It is so beautiful and inspiring...
This video was made in 2007 and already there is even more data in support of breastfeeding. The video states that formula feeding may increase the risk of SIDS; in fact, an article published in the March 2010 issue of Pediatrics reports on a German study indicating that any formula feeding at one month of age doubled the chances of SIDS. The video also states that formula costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of dollars; a recent study in Pediatrics found that if 90% of US women breastfed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save the lives of almost 900 babies and save $13 billion in medical costs each year.
As a culture, we do a pretty good job getting the message out there that breastfeeding is the healthy choice for babies, mothers, and the environment. We know that it saves time and money. Maybe that is why most mothers initiate breastfeeding early postpartum (75% in 2007 according to CDC data). Then, why is it only 33% of mothers (again CDC stats from 2007) are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months and only 13% are breastfeeding at all at 6 months? (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months and continued breastfeeding with the addition of solids for at least one year.) I think it's because we, as a society, are doing a good job promoting breastfeeding and not a very good job supporting breastfeeding. It's really not fair to mothers, I think, to tell them that they should breastfeed but not provide the information and support that they need to make it work. I really hope that this is changing... I know that I am doing what I can.