How Long Can You Go For?

Well, I promised a blog on breastfeeding duration, here are some statistics that show improvement in breastfeeding duration. Education and awareness seem to be key factors in the increased population of mothers sustaining breast feeding for longer periods of infancy.

Breastfeeding Duration — Results from the National Immunization Survey

Since July 2001, breastfeeding questions have been asked on the NIS to assess the population’s breastfeeding practices. Children are 19 to 35 months old at the time of the interview.


Rates of breastfeeding by birth year from the National Immunization Survey, United States

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Early postpartum

68.3

70.9

71.6

71.4

72.7

73.8

At 6 months

32.6

34.2

36.9

37.6

39.1

41.5

At 12 months

15.0

15.7

18.2

19.0

19.6

20.9

Since education campaigns at both the governmental and individual level have been introduced, the number of mothers who continue to breastfeed their babies at 6 months has gone up approximately 6 percent in 5 years.

Breastfeeding and working outside of the home are not concepts that easily go hand in hand. Mom is in one place, baby in another, but just because a mother is going back to work – either full time or on a part time basis – does not mean she has to stop breastfeeding. However, the percentage of working mothers who continue to breastfeed their children is much lower than those who are not employed outside of the home.

In the past 30 years, significant demographic shifts have affected child care and, more specifically, lactation. Coincident with a reduction in family size has been a progressively earlier return of mothers to the workforce, as well as an increased percentage of families headed by women and families in which both parents are employed. These demographic changes have made breastfeeding more difficult to implement. In fact, the most significant obstacle to breastfeeding duration is the mother’s need to return to work.No matter what type of job you have, if you go back to work after having your baby, it should be possible for you to take time to pump your breast milk. You can talk with your employer about why breastfeeding is important, why pumping is necessary, and how you plan to fit pumping into your work schedule. Pumping while away from your baby on the same schedule that he or she breastfeeds ensures that you keep up your milk supply to meet your baby’s needs. If you are staying home to care for your baby, having an effective pump at home is also helpful. You can use it to help relieve engorgement, especially when your milk supply first comes in, or for when you need to be away from your baby for any amount of time, such as an evening out with your partner. If you have to temporarily take medication that may harm your baby, you can pump and discard your milk during this time.

Next week, let’s blog about the dangers bisphenol A baby bottles and what is available to keep our babies healthy.


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