A CNN news report highlights the challenges and public health importance of promoting and supporting new mothers in breastfeeding their baby throughout the first 6 months of their child's life.
This challenge makes me wonder how much of the problem is one of
- Biology - Moms physically aren't able to breastfeed their kids.
- Education - Moms don't know to breastfeed - exclusively - until their child reaches 6 months.
- Awareness - Moms don't know about the benefits/risk of breastfeeding - or not - on their child's health.
- Social - Relationships (partners, family members) and social norms interfere with moms' decision or ability to breastfeed.
- Structural/Political - Policies and structural factors like break time at work inhibit moms from being able to breastfeed or pump throughout the day.
As a quick aside: the new health care reform law makes it mandatory for employers to provide breaks to female workers who are lactating (i.e. breastfeeding). I expect that will begin to address some of the structural barriers mentioned above!