By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
New mothers may not be getting the breastfeeding support they need.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that that less than half of the nation’s moms are breastfeeding enough, and they’re calling on healthcare professionals and others to do more in the way of education and support. It opens the door for a (new or renewed) OB/GYM marketing opportunity, as well as for medical marketing and advertising for pediatrics, hospital practices, as well as hospital marketing and public relations.
In their Breastfeeding Report Card—United States, 2010, the CDC observes: “There are many different ways that communities support mothers and babies to breastfeed, and everyone plays a role. Across the U.S., the average level of support that birth facilities provide to mothers and babies as they get started with breastfeeding is inadequate, and hospital practices and policies that interfere with breastfeeding remain common. In the U.S., too few hospitals participate in the global program to recognize best practices in supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies, known as the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.”
The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card [available online here] provides state-by-state data so that health professionals, legislators, employers, business owners, community advocates and family members can work together to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
High breastfeeding initiation rates show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so. However, even from the very start, mothers may not be getting the breastfeeding support they need. Low breastfeeding rates at 3, 6, and 12 months illustrate that mothers continue to face multiple barriers to breastfeeding.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and that mothers continue to breastfeed as the child begins taking other food until at least the end of the first year and longer if desired,” according to a Reuters report. “The Academy estimates if more U.S. women breastfed their babies, it could lower annual U.S. health costs by $3.6 billion.”