Breastfeeding - The Challenges
Human milk provides optimal nutrition for the first six months of life for most infants. Though most women are aware of this and the many other benefits of breastfeeding, most stop breastfeeding before their child turns six months old. Women face many challenges with continuing to breastfeed, both while home with their babies in the early postpartum weeks, and once they return to work.
A quick look at breastfeeding facts in Wisconsin:
- 83% of Wisconsin women initiate breastfeeding
- At 6 months, only 56% of women are still breastfeeding
- At 12 months, that number drops to 22%
Large disparities in breastfeeding rates exist between White and Black/African Americans in both initiation and duration:
- Initiation rates for White infants are at approximately 85%
- For Black/African American infants, initiation rates are closer to 67%.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2011
Did you know?
Exclusive breastfeeding immediately after birth decreases the infant’s risk of developing childhood diabetes.