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Breastfeeding Rates on the Rise, But Why Aren’t Moms Nursing For an Extended Period of Time?

Mother Breastfeeding Baby In NurseryLast Monday marked the 11th month that I have been breastfeeding Avery. I made the goal to breastfeed her for one year and we are so close to making it to the finish line. I’m not going to lie, I can’t wait until that day comes. Since Avery has been on the move, she doesn’t enjoy nursing as much as she used to. She doesn’t even want anything to do with a bottle. She’s simply not interested. The only time that we do have really good nursing sessions are early in the morning when she is just waking up or late at night after she’s fallen asleep and I wake her up for a night feed.

It hasn’t been easy, but I know that making it to the 12 month mark is what is best for my baby. Apparently it isn’t easy for other mothers either. A Huffington Post article published today revealed that a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that although the breastfeeding rate has increased in the United States, fewer mothers are making it to 12 months as recommended.

The report shows that from 2000 to 2008 the percentage of mothers who breastfed for any amount of time went up from 70.3 to 74.6 percent. However when they followed up with those women at 12 months only 23 percent were still nursing.

Why the decline? The CDC says it’s the lack of support breastfeeding mothers get from their doctors, hospitals, or employers. As someone who has struggled these last six months, I can completely say that could very well be the case.

My doctor tried to tell me to stop nursing, Avery’s pediatrician and GI doctor said the same. The only people who have told me to keep going and push through it are fellow moms. It’s pretty sad that trained professionals in the medical field couldn’t even give me the support that I needed when it was clear that I wanted to do whatever I could to continue nursing Avery.

It was with determination, dedication, and my own research that I was able to make it as long as I have. I could have shopped around for other doctors, but with my experience in the pediatricians I’ve had for both of my girls, it isn’t easy to find one that will support you unconditionally on the breastfeeding issue. And that is something that I find incredibly sad. I shouldn’t have to look that far to find someone who can help me continue my breastfeeding journey. I also shouldn’t keep running into doctors that deter me away from it either.

Have you found it easy to get the support you need as a breastfeeding mother?

More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.

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