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Healthcare reform aims to make breastfeeding more feasible for working mothers

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 26-01-2011

Though it is widely thought to be beneficial for newborn children, breastfeeding can sometimes be difficult to manage due to a number of potential roadblocks that face mothers in the workplace. However, the surgeon general recently issued a call to set in place regulations that might make it easier for working moms to do breastfeed, The Associated Press.

While around 75 percent of children are breastfed during their first few weeks of life, that number drops significantly after about 6 months to around 43 percent. Although studies have shown breastfeeding offers numerous benefits, ranging from boosting babies' immunity to decreasing their risk of childhood obesity, many mom's do not receive adequate assistance.

"The hardest thing is to keep it up, because our society and our culture aren't there to support them," Surgeon General Regina Benjamin told the news source.

The recently passed healthcare legislation is a step in the right direction, as it requires many employers to offer breaks and and a private places (other than the bathroom) for female employees to pump milk. Benjamin stressed that it made economic sense for companies to provide such an area as babies that are breastfed will become sick less often.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of their lives. Parents are encouraged to continue the practice until their offspring are about a year old.