Lifelong good health begins in the womb with healthy mothers and in the neonatal and infant stages with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a great way to ensure better health for baby and mother, and has good effects that last throughout life for both. Studies have shown that babies who breastfeed are less likely to develop allergies, have fewer ear infections, and have better dental health. Breastfed babies are also less likely to grow up over-weight or develop diabetes later in life.
Breastfeeding also has benefits for the mother, facilitating a closer bond between mother and child while supporting weight loss after the birth of the child. Studies have also shown that women who breastfed have fewer pre-menopausal cancers and less incidence of osteoporosis later in life.
Breastfeeding rates for Kentucky are among the lowest in the nation. Kentucky has a rate of 59% of women initiating breastfeeding after giving birth compared to the national rate of 75%. The rate for Louisville is only slightly better than that for Kentucky at 66%. Kentucky also has one of the lowest rates of women who continue to breastfeed after six months with a rate 29.6% compared to 43% nationally.
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