Breastfeeding: Laws and Societal Impact

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Sarah W. Ying
Nova Publishers, 2005 - Health & Fitness - 85 pages
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The rate of breastfeeding in the United States has risen and fallen over time as a result of changing lifestyles and the availability of substitutes for human milk. However, since the 1970s the rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration have increased, in part due to the increasing medical evidence of the significant health benefits both to mothers and children. The federal government's Health Objectives for 2010 are for 75% of mothers to initiate breastfeeding at the time of birth and for 50% to continue breastfeeding until their infants reach 6 months of age. Current rates are about 69.5% at the time of hospital discharge and 32.5% at 6 months of age. The health benefits to the infant include the high nutritional quality of human milk, and a decrease in various infectious and other diseases of infancy that are reduced by the anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and immunological-stimulating agents present. Mothers seem to benefit with a more rapid return to the pre-pregnancy state of their bodies, improved glucose and lipid metabolism, delayed ovulation, and the possible reduction of certain cancers. This new book examines the impact on health, employment and society, laws and government support of this important health action.

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