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By Cara Beth Lewis

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and baby. The Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America made a proclamation this week stating, “The US Department of Agriculture and cooperating State health departments, territories, and tribal organizations promote and support breastfeeding as the best source of infant nutrition through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and other nutrition assistance programs.”

Research shows that breastfed babies have lower risks of:

  • Asthma
  • Leukemia (during childhood)
  • Obesity (during childhood)
  • Ear infections
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • Necrotizing (NEK-roh-TEYE-zing) enterocolitis (en-TUR-oh-coh-LYT-iss), a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in premature babies or babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Type 2 diabetes

Breastfeeding leads to a lower risk of these health problems in mothers:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain types of breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

Breastfeeding has more than just nutritional and immunity benefits; It also saves money and helps the environment.

It is known as “the perfect food for your baby.”

National WIC Breastfeeding Week, August 1st through 7th, is a time to celebrate and appreciate mothers who have breastfed, currently breastfeed, and will in the future, as well as educate those who are making decisions for their children.