Babies Off Breast Milk Too Soon

Three-quarters of new moms breast feed, but only 11% long enough
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2007 6:50 AM CDT
Jeanine Everitt Beaver breast-feeds her son Zachary at the intermediate care nursery at the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Almost three quarters of new mothers in the US breast feed their babies, but they are switching to formula too soon, say federal health officials. Only 30% are sticking to breast milk alone at three months, and only 11% at six months, a new survey shows. Breast milk
protects infants against diseases, eczema, and childhood obesity.

Ideally, moms should feed their infants breast milk for the first six months, health officials say. The CDC survey, from 2004, showed initial breast feeding at a new high, at 74%, up from 71% in 2001. The lowest rate of breast feeding is among black women and unmarried, poor, rural, and teen moms.