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World Breastfeeding Week

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World breastfeeding week was launched by the idea that every mom should breastfeed for at least six months.

But of course, that's easier said than done, especially when you have a toddler and a newborn like Becky Shelton, "I'm sure it will be stressful when I get home trying to have a little toddler running around and but hopefully everything will, we'll be able to tend to her and get on a regular schedule and everything will hopefully fall into place easier."

Lactation consultant, Sally Wood tells me of the struggles some moms encounter with their newborns, "It sometimes takes several weeks to even get breastfeeding going well and then they're going back to work or to school and that's not unusual for moms to have to go back in two or three weeks, to me six or eight weeks is still too soon, but it's a challenge."

A challenge that Wood says more and more moms are accepting. She says in her eight years at Doctors Hospital, the percentage of moms who breastfeed has increased dramatically, "One of the many benefits of breastfeeding is that it decreases the risk of obesity in childhood and babies that are formula fed are at a higher risk of obesity so definitely we can see healthier weights and those healthier weights are even seen in teenagers who were breast fed as infants."

Not only that, but Wood tells me breastfeeding also saves a great deal of money, "Two-thousand dollars a year, could be more. I saw a recent figure from the surgeon general that said if ninety percent of mothers who breastfeed for six months, this nation would save thirteen billion, that's with a B, in healthcare costs."

A new study shows that babies who breastfeed as infants also have higher IQs. So if the benefits are healthy and financially savvy, why don't all moms breastfeed?

Wood tells me some moms just don't see it as convenient. And that's where she comes in, "There are lots of things in the community that moms can access for help, and one thing I would urge all moms to do is ask for it. It takes support and encouragement. I meet moms who say, 'well I didn't get to continue breastfeeding because of this reason or that reason.' In reality, if they had just called a lactation consultant, we could have probably helped them."

This story was written by

Julie Meeks

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