While breast milk is proven to boost the long-term health and wellness of mom and baby, the decision to breastfeed is not always an easy one for new mothers.
It’s World Breastfeeding Week, and we’re eager to celebrate the myriad health benefits that breastfeeding offers. However, it is also important that we freeze the mommy wars and focus on the fact that not all mothers have equal access to breastfeeding opportunities.
Did you know that financially well-off, well-educated mothers are far more likely to breastfeed, and that they do so for longer? In fact, moms making more than $134,000 per year are 30% more likely to breastfeed than those making less than $22,000.
Breastfeeding rates also vary dramatically between states. Mothers living in the nation’s most affluent states, including California, are more likely to breastfeed than those residing in poorer states, such as Louisiana.
The statistics paint a shocking image in which African American, rural, and unwed mothers have some of the lowest breastfeeding rates.
In addition to socioeconomic disadvantages, a startling number of women are not receiving the lactation support they need from their hospitals, places of work, communities, and families.
Given what we know about the health benefits of breastfeeding, we must strive to create opportunities so that all mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies have the support and resources they need to succeed.
WeTheParents has compiled data from several studies to illustrate the dramatic disparities of breastfeeding access. This World Breastfeeding Week, let’s use the data in their infographic to supercharge the discussion and action surrounding nature’s most sustainable superfood: