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August 10, 2017 06:15 PM

Fewer Mothers Breastfeeding Past 6 Months

The old mantra "breast is best" is still being promoted by doctors and health organizations around the globe. However, not all moms are listening.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, only about 40% of mothers are still breastfeeding after six months. We talk to a doctor and a mom, to find out what resources are available to keep your baby as healthy as possible.

Mica Skinner and her husband were elated to find out they were carrying a little baby girl over a year ago. From that moment on she made the decision to breastfeed.

"I knew it was what I wanted to try doing, but if I'm being honest I wasn't really excited about it. I really didn't anticipate it being a positive experience," said Mica Skinner, new mother. 

Like many new moms, Skinner had heard a lot of horror stories from fellow mothers about the pain and inconvenience of breastfeeding. Which could explain why half of the nearly 75% of moms who start out breastfeeding drop it six months in.

"Probably the biggest reason is lack of community. Lack of support. People to help them and instill in them the positive aspects of breastfeeding," said Laurie Landeen, Sanford OBGYN. 

Dr. Laurie Landeen with Sanford Health says the benefits of breastfeeding are worth the effort it takes. Studies have shown breastfed babies get sick less often than formula fed babies, and there has even been a connection shown between breast milk and a higher IQ.

Skinner decided to be proactive about her own journey and visited the lactation center at Sanford. Even taking classes before giving birth.

"My husband, he came along with me and found ways that he can support me through breastfeeding. That helped make it a little bit more manageable," said Skinner. 

"Get help, because you know what? Once you get past that point, four to six weeks later most moms thrive and they tell you it's the best thing they ever did," said Landed. 

Now, over a year later, Skinner says she's glad she stuck it out.

"Still going strong. It's something that we're both enjoying so don't have intentions of stopping just yet," said Skinner. 

On top of health benefits for both mother and child, Landeen says breastfeeding can save families up to $1,500  a year.

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