According to a new study, the vast majority of new moms do not meet the breast-feeding goals that they set for themselves.
The study, published June 4 in the journal Pediatrics
, found that only one-third of new moms who intend to breast-feed for at least the first three months of their infant's life actually do so. The study was compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) using a nationwide mail survey that was sent to new mothers.
Of those who responded, 85 percent of new moms said they planned to exclusively breast-feed for at least three months, but only 32 percent followed through. According to the new report, 42 percent of moms who intended to breast-feed for three months or longer stopped in the first month, and 15 stopped before they even checked out of the hospital.
The data showed that women who smoked or were obese were more likely to discontinue breast-feeding than those who did not. Also, new moms who were married or had a partner were more likely to continue breast-feeding than single moms.
I'm not sure what breaks my heart more — that moms aren't breast-feeding for as long as they wanted to or that moms somehow see their inability to breast-feed longer as the failure to meet a "goal," or that moms who want to breast-feed are clearly not doing so because they don't have the support at home.
In any case, it's a shame and something that needs to be addressed on all levels.
Did you have a breast-feeding "goal" when your baby was born?