Babies were born to breastfeed!
Over 90% of Utah women start out breastfeeding their newborn infants. However, many women stop or reduce breastfeeding due to work separation. Infants given manufactured infant formula have increased health risks. Healthier babies mean healthier children. That means less sick ones in care, and less sick leave taken.
The short term health benefits of breastfeeding include reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), colic, and allergies to just name a few. Long term benefits for breastfeeding extend to less obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes and cancers.
Other Advantages of Breastfeeding:
- Protects the health of babies and mothers by preventing acute and chronic diseases and conditions, including obesity and SIDS;
- Builds a strong emotional bond between mothers and infants;
- Saves money – a breastfeeding family will save on average $550 in health care costs and $1400 in infant formula costs during the first year;
- Environmentally friendly, preserving resources and preventing unnecessary waste products.
Breastfeeding recommendations include:
- Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months (with no other foods or artificial baby formulas);
- Continued breastfeeding with other foods added until at least 1 year, and thereafter as long as mutually desired by the mother and child;
- The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of life.
Legal Rights of Breastfeeding Mothers:
Utah law protects the right to breastfeed in public and states that a breastfeeding woman is not in violation of any obscene or indecent exposure laws.
Breastfeeding and Working:
Many mothers do not achieve their breastfeeding goals because they are separated from their babies when they return to work. The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding mothers, including reasonable break time and a clean private space to feed her infant or to express milk. The United States Breastfeeding Committee website is a great way to become more educated on protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding mothers.
If you are a working mother, a TOP Star endorsed childcare provider is ready to support you and your breastfeeding goals. TOP Star also offers free training and resources to support dads that are separated with child care and work. TOP Star endorsed facilities often exceed the requirements set by federal law by accommodating moms with more support and with improved environments.
Resources for Breastfeeding Families:
- The Maternal and Infant Health Program (MIHP) developed the “Stepping Up for Utah Babies” program as a way to work with our local hospitals to support breastfeeding in their facilities.
- The Utah WIC Program provides supplemental foods, lactation specialists, peer counselors, and breastpumps to eligible mothers. The Utah WIC Program has additional information.
- La Leche League of Utah provides mother-to-mother support groups and information
- Find answers to common questions regarding breastfeeding at the United State Breastfeeding Committee
- The Utah Breastfeeding Coalition is a group of health professionals, public health organizations, educators, policy makers, employers and other community individuals and groups whose purpose is to collaboratively promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Utah.