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Study: Breastfeeding Saves Lives, Billion of Dollars

BabyFit News Flash

According to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, more than 900 lives and billions of dollars would be saved if mothers breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their babies' lives.

"The United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations," the report said.

The World Health Organization, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend that infants be given breast milk exclusively for the first six months of their lives.

The study's authors said that breastfeeding reduces the risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome, lower respiratory infections, and other diseases. The costs stem from from health care and parents' lost wages.

According to government statistics, 3 in 4 mothers start breastfeeding, but just 14% continue for six months.

The study's authors don't blame mothers; they say that the government and health-care providers should be doing more to promote breastfeeding and its benefits.

For more information on breastfeeding and its benefits to both mother and child, visit BabyFit's comprehensive breastfeeding resource center.

Tip: If you're planning to breastfeed, be sure to seek the advice and counsel of other, experienced mothers, either here on BabyFit or in your daily lives.
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health and fitness, with an emphasis on whole foods and from-scratch cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys Spinning, international travel and vegetables of all kinds. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

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