August 1 - 7 is World Breastfeeding Week, a campaign to encourage breastfeeding and support nursing mothers worldwide. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and infection in babies, as well as lower the risk of postpartum depression, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer in mothers. While breastfeeding rates in the United States have risen in recent years, some mothers still lack needed support and resources to help them breastfeed.
Many hospitals and organizations offer breastfeeding classes to help new moms learn some of the basic skills and routines involved in breastfeeding before the baby arrives. But in a 2014 Mott Poll, uninsured parents reported taking breastfeeding classes less often than insured parents.
- 26% of parents with a child age 0-3 attended a breastfeeding class.
- Among first-time parents, 40% attended breastfeeding classes.
- Only 12% of uninsured parents attended breastfeeding classes.
For more information on breastfeeding support, visit worldbreastfeedingweek.org.