Supporting nursing mothers during World Breastfeeding Week
August 1st - 7th is World Breastfeeding Week, an annual campaign to support pregnant and nursing mothers and educate the public about the benefits of breastfeeding. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that infants are breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life, but according to the CDC, current breastfeeding rates are below target levels.
Breastfeeding classes are an important way to educate families about breastfeeding, however a 2014 Mott Poll found that uninsured parents take breastfeeding classes less often than insured parents. Among parents of children 0-3 months old:
- Only 12% of uninsured parents attended breastfeeding classes
- 26% of all parents reported attending a breastfeeding class
- Among first time parents, 40% said they attended breastfeeding classes
Breastfed babies have lower rates of infection, obesity, and diabetes, and mothers who breastfeed have been shown to have lower rates of postpartum depression, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Accessibility and affordability of breastfeeding classes is essential to supporting pregnant and nursing mothers. For more information on World Breastfeeding Week, visit worldbreastfeedingweek.org.