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HHS HealthBeat (April 12, 2013)

Most moms breastfeed

HHS HealthBeat: Infant asleep

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

More new mothers are breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 10 years of data. Researcher Jessica Allen:

"We are seeing that, overall, the percent of moms who start breastfeeding is increasing. It increased from 70 to 75 percent."

Allen says a baby should have only breast milk for the first six months, and can continue to have breast milk – along with other foods – for at least the next six months. Breastfeeding benefits mother and baby. The baby receives antibodies from breast milk that protect against disease, and can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and becoming obese later. There also are benefits for the mother – such as a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

An analysis of breastfeeding trends is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 12, 2013