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Less Than Half of Women Breastfeed After Two Months, Survey Finds

While the World Health Organization and other baby specialists recommend breastfeeding for at least six months and up to age 2, many mothers stop after only a couple of months, The Guardian reports. A survey found a variety of reasons for switching to bottles, including pain, embarrassment to feed in public, and the need to take medications that the mothers didn’t want their babies to get through their breastmilk.

This is a shame because breastfeeding not only is the most natural — and easiest — way to feed a baby, but comes with some pretty amazing benefits for both mother and baby. For baby, it’s the perfect food that contains all the nutrients vital for healthy growth and development, plus beneficial microbes that promote a healthy gut microbiome.

Also, research shows that people who were breastfed as infants had increased intelligence, longer schooling and higher earning as adults. Breastfed infants also have lower rates of chronic and infectious diseases and score higher on intelligence tests.

For moms, studies show that 17 percent of women who lactated for a month or less had atherosclerotic plaques, a risk factor for heart disease, compared with less than 11 percent of those who breastfed for 10 months or longer — meaning it’s good for your heart. It may also help prevent obesity later in life, and offers protection against diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Worldwide, less than 40 percent of infants under 6 months of age are exclusively breastfed, which indicates that we need to do a better job of promoting breastfeeding and rejecting the processed food industry’s offerings of canned and powdered milk substitutes, including soy “milks,” all of which can be contaminated with toxic products including overloads of manganese and aluminum.
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