Breastfeeding Information for Professionals
Mothers and babies count on your help
New mothers need to be encouraged to exclusively breastfeed,* and clinicians and other professionals who work with new mothers often have a big role to play in facilitating, reinforcing and normalizing the behavior.
Breastfed babies are at a lower risk for many health problems, such as ear and respiratory infections, diarrhea, asthma and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop diabetes or breast or ovarian cancer.
For the health of babies and mothers, health experts recommend women exclusively breastfeed their babies for at least six months, and continue breastfeeding through one year or longer. According to data collected from the National Immunization Survey,
- 80 percent of babies born in 2006 in Minnesota were breastfed,
- 52 percent were breastfed six months or more (15 percent exclusively), and
- 25 percent were breastfed 12 months or more.
*Breastfeeding refers to feeding babies their mothers’ milk, whether directly from the breast or by means of a bottle.
In 2009-10, in order to learn more about how to promote a supportive environment for breastfeeding, the MDH Physical Activity and Nutrition Unit and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program partnered with Wilder Research to assess supports for and challenges of breastfeeding infants, particularly in relation to their experiences with health care settings, worksites and social influences.