Study: Mothers Should Breastfeed their Newborns for Six Months
If you are expecting your first child, you probably read up on everything that you should do and expect as a first-time mother.
That can include what you should eat and how much you should exercise during pregnancy; how often you baby will sleep and how often they should be fed; and, perhaps most importantly, what to do about breastfeeding.
Well, a new study published this week in "Pediatrics," the official journals of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that the United States could save $13 billion and prevent 911 deaths if 90 percent of American families complied with medical recommendations to breastfeed newborns for the first six months.
Specifically, it would reduce infant deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, necrotizing, necrotizing enterocolitis, and lower respiratory tract infections.
Currently, only 74 percent of U.S. families follow those recommendations and breastfeed newborns.
The study's authors recommended encouraging hospitals and birthing centers to better educate new mothers on breastfeeding.
This led to an interesting debate among those commenting on a story about the study.
Some said it was difficult for mothers to breastfeed newborns for six months, given the limitations of maternity leave and the difficulties of trying to pump at work.
Others accused those mothers of being lazy, selfish and putting other priorities, such as their careers, ahead of their newborn's welfare. Some mothers countered that their families needed a second income to survive.
What do you think? How does society balance the newborns' welfare with women's right to pursue a career and the economic pressures on a family? What more can be done? How do we resolve this bitter debate and come to a meeting of the minds on this issue?
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