Although recommended as the primary food source for babies during the first months of life, many new moms experience certain difficulties when trying to breastfeed, the Surgeon General says.
Based on the barriers or troubles mothers may experience, Dr. Regina Benjamin, the U.S. Surgeon General, is working to make breastfeeding an easier process for women.
Some of the most common issues with breastfeeding are lack of support at home, inexperienced family members or friends who cannot adequately offer insight and support, and failure to communicate with other moms who may be breastfeeding or who have breastfed recently.
Nearly three out of four United States mothers begin breastfeeding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains. However, the number of breastfeeding moms decreases more than 30 percent after just six months. New studies about the potential negative affects of continued breastfeeding may be part of this reason.
Health officials are working to increase the number of breastfeeding mothers by 7 percent or more in the following year.
While the Surgeon General and other officials are urging more women to breastfeed, the goal is to not make women feel as though they have to. The choice to breastfeed is personal, but breastfeeding carries many health benefits for both the mother and the child.
The overall goal is to make breastfeeding appear to be more acceptable and to make it easier for women.