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Entries in Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding (1)

Monday
Jan242011

Surgeon General's 'Call to Action' Touts Breastfeeding Benefits

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Seventy-five percent of babies born in the U.S. start out breastfeeding -- however, 13 percent are exclusively breastfed by the end of six months, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and other breastfeeding advocates, including director Spike Lee's wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, are trying hard to increase the percentage of mothers who breastfeed exclusively for six months through the Surgeon General's "Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding."

"One of the most highly effective preventative measures a mother can take to protect her child and her own health is to breastfeed," Benjamin said during a press briefing.

The Surgeon General's "Call to Action" outlines the benefits of breastfeeding such as the reduced risk of diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia and asthma in babies.  Breastfeeding also can protect against infant obesity.  For mothers, Benjamin adds, the risk of breast and ovarian cancer is significantly diminished.

"Call to Action" also identifies several ways families, communities, health care providers and employers can increase support for breastfeeding.  Among those listed, Dr. Benjamin calls on employers to offer women a "clean and private place other than a bathroom" to nurse or pump breastmilk.  She also says health care systems should "ensure that maternity care practices provide education and counseling on breastfeeding."

The Surgeon General's "Call to Action" will be accompanied with a public service announcement, with ads set to air on 1,200 television stations across the country, according to MedPage Today.

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