Feature Archive

Making The Breastfeeding Decision

Breastfeeding is healthy for mother and baby. Here's why.

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Cynthia Haines


It's probably no accident that the declining interest in breastfeeding collided head on with the birth of the American working mom.

 

As more women entered the workforce, more were encouraged to abandon breastfeeding in favor of formula. And for a time, a good majority did just that.

 

But today, the pendulum has swung again. Breastfeeding is now enjoying a rebirth in popularity, thanks in part to the U.S. government's Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding awareness campaign, launched in 2000. Its sole purpose is to educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding.

 

"Most of today's new mothers were not breastfed and many of their own mothers were not breastfed," says Suzanne Haynes, MD, chairwoman of the federal Health and Human Services Commission's subcommittee on breastfeeding.

 

"So we found there was a great need for information not only on the health benefits but also on some basic education on how to breastfeed and how it can be accomplished, even if you are a working mom."