More breastfeeding please
A chief doctor is calling on mothers and communities to support breastfeeding.
Studies have shown numerous benefits for babies, mothers and overall healthcare when newborns are breastfed for the recommended minimum of six months
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin issued a report advocating mothers to breastfeed their children.
"Many barriers exist for mothers who want to breastfeed," said Benjamin.
"They shouldn't have to go it alone. Whether you're a clinician, a family member, a friend, or an employer, you can play an important part in helping mothers who want to breastfeed."
Breastfeeding develops immunity in babies and protects them from illnesses like diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia.
Some studies have linked breastfeeding to higher IQs
Despite the reported benefits of breastfeeding
, some women find that with busy schedules, social stigma, and lack of know-how, consistent breastfeeding is difficult to manage.
Although 75% of babies start out being breastfed, just over 1 of 10 is breastfed exclusively for six months.
The Surgeon General's call seeks to combat those problems by expanding and improving community programs that provide support and peer counselling, and ensuring employers and health care centres to provide similar support.
The American Academy of Paediatrics endorsed the surgeon general's campaign.
"The Call to Action provides a road map for creating a clear path for all mothers to breast-feed as long as they can and wish to do so," the children's healthcare organization said in a statement.Do you support breastfeeding?