Our View: Well fed

August 2, 2013

More moms are breastfeeding.

A recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that 77 percent of new mothers are breast-feeding their babies, up from 71 percent about a decade ago.

That is great news for babies and new mothers.

Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed have lower risks of infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed are said to have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers.

Breast-feeding helps provide protections for infants by giving them nutrients and antibodies. Not only is the milk easy for infants to to digest, it’s been shown to protect against disease. Breast-fed babies have lower rates of necrotizing enterocolitis (a disease of the gastrointestinal tract that affects preterm infants), respiratory infections, asthma, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 diabetes, childhood leukemia and a type of skin rash known as atopic dermatitis. Decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome has also been observed.

Recent studies have also shown that children who are breast-fed longer may be able to move up further along the social ladder and could possibly give the baby a boost in intelligence.

Mothers can also benefit from breast-feeding. Nursing a child has been linked to lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression in mothers.

Breastfeeding not only good for health, but for wealth as well. Health officials says that if all recommendations were followed, the breastfeed could save the US more than $2 billion.

Part of the rise over the last 10 years has to do with more hospitals encouraging new moms to breastfeed.

That is why we are happy to see the local efforts by the Scotland Memorial Hospital and the county Health Department to promote awareness on the issue.

Health officials joined Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker this week in signing a proclamation declaring World Breastfeeding Awareness Month In Scotland County.

As part of the month-long celebration, there will be a Farmer’s Market put on by the Scotland County Department of Public Health and WIC Program, Cooperative Extension, and Scotland Memorial Hospital.

The event is from 10 am to 2 pm at the Scotland County Department of Public Health at 1405 West Blvd, Laurinburg, NC.

The public is invited to explore fresh, local fruits and vegetables, in addition to celebrating and promoting the many benefits of breastfeeding.

During the event, an informational booth will be available for new and expectant mothers to learn about breastfeeding, as well as ask questions.