Our friends at Save the Children released a new breastfeeding report, Superfood for Babies, stating that 830,000 babies’ lives can be saved if they are breastfed within the first hour of birth. Wow, I always knew breastfeeding was essential for babies and, although it is rarely the case here in the United States, it will save countless lives in the developing world where breastfeeding means the difference between life and death.
Social Good Moms in support of Save the Children are rallying together to call on new Secretary of State John Kerry to help mothers around the world get more support around breastfeeding and lifesaving nutrition for their babies. You too can support by tweeting:
Inspired by the report, we are asking our Latina moms to share their breastfeeding experience and offer breastfeeding tips to all the new mamis and encourage them to breastfeed and prolong breastfeeding if possible. Some questions that may need answering include:
- What challenges did you faced and how did you overcome them?
- What’s the best position to comfortably breastfeed a baby?
- Can one help their own body produce more milk? How?
- Mommies everywhere say: my nipples hurt! How do I alleviate them?
- How much time should I spend breastfeeding, how do you know the baby is full?
Even in the U.S., among the different ethnicity, there are breastfeeding disparities and we need to fill the gaps. According to a recent report by the CDC, “The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes breastfeeding and human milk as the “normative standards for infant feeding.” Given the documented health benefits, the Academy recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding for at least 12 months as complementary foods are introduced.”
Despite of the AAP recommendations the rates are a far cry especially at 6 and 12 months. These are the numbers by race:
For breastfeeding initiation:
- White women: Increased from 71.8% to 75.2%
- African American women: Increased from 47.4% to 58.9%
- Latinas: Increased from 77.6% to 80.0%
For any breastfeeding at 6 months:
- White women: Increased from 38.2% to 46.6%
- African American women: Increased from 16.9% to 30.1%
- Latinas: Increased from 34.6% to 45.2%
For any breastfeeding at 12 months:
- White women: Increased from 17.1% to 23.3%
- African American women: Increased from 6.3% to 12.5%
- Latinas: Increased from 18.2% to 26.3%
Based on the research, Latinas are ahead when breastfeeding but we still need to unite and educate our community on breastfeeding and its health benefits for babies.