Breastfeeding moms need support and empowerment year round

World Breastfeeding Week…. Day 7

As World Breastfeeding Week comes to a close, there are many things to celebrate and a few things to work harder on but one thing is clear: breastfeeding moms need support and empowerment year round.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their 2011 Breastfeeding Report Card and Florida falls short on a number of indicators.

While 79 percent of mothers have ever breastfed, only 39 percent are breastfeeding at six months. That drops to 20 percent at one year. Thirty-one percent of breastfed infants receive formula before two days old. Florida only has two Baby Friendly hospitals — where 2.19 percent of all births statewide occur. and released the results of their second annual breastfeeding survey on August 2.

The survey found some disturbing trends: 44 percent of women feel uncomfortable seeing a mom breastfeed in public; 17 percent of women don’t feel breastfeeding is one of the best things a mom can do for herself and her child; 25 percent of women who didn’t or won’t breastfeed said they tried but simply weren’t able to; 1 in 10 women don’t work in an environment that supports breastfeeding or pumping.

But a bright spot from the survey found that the majority of women surveyed did, currently do or plan to breastfeed.

So what can you do to support breastfeeding moms?

  • Help out breastfeeding moms by linking them to local resources
  • Send an e-Card about the benefits of breastfeeding to an expectant mother.
  • Encourage new moms to read the American Academy of Pediatric’s breastfeeding guide.
  • Spread the word about the new guidelines that barr insurers from charnging co-pays or co-insurance for breastfeeding support and supplies