Breastfeeding Report Card Update and New Mom Nursing Concerns

Breastfeeding Report Card Update and New Mom Nursing ConcernsAccording to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 37.7% of new moms are exclusively breastfeeding 3 months after giving birth. At 6 months after birth, the percentage drops to 16.4. What drives so many first time mothers to supplement with formula or abandon breastfeeding altogether? Even though the CDC’s 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card shows marked improvement in on-site hospital support systems, women are continuing to not breastfeeding for a full year.

A September 2013 Time article notes that women who worry about their breastfeeding abilities (including issues like proper latch and sufficient breast milk production) before their baby is born are more likely to switch to formula sooner than women who did not express similar concerns. Even though lactation and breastfeeding are often touted as “natural” actions a mother instinctively knows, there are facets about latching and breastfeeding that so often a new mom is not taught while in the hospital. Small, correctible issues might seem like larger deficiencies when a new mom is struggling with feeding her baby. If a new mom’s anxieties are not addressed by a medical professional (especially if there is no lactation consultant available) it is unsurprising that she would feel as though breastfeeding were a task too difficult to handle.

What can you do to help a new mom struggling to nurse? Volunteer your own experiences and any breastfeeding information that you picked up along the way. Anxiety grows in the absence of information, so by sharing your take on breastfeeding, you are helping to foster another mom’s confidence. Sore nipples, frequent feedings—these elements of the breastfeeding routine are draining on a first-time mom, so any advice and encouragement will go a long way in boosting her confidence!

Do you have any important breastfeeding advice you’d like to share? Leave us a note in the comments!