More Iowans are breastfeeding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

More Iowans are breastfeeding

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - The number of mothers breastfeeding their children from birth is going up. 

According to the Iowa Newborn Metabolic Screening Profile, Iowa exceeded the national rate of 77 percent in 2013, at a rate of 77.69 percent. Iowa’s rate of breastfeeding at birth has risen steadily each year.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says breastfeeding has many benefits for mothers and babies. The benefits include: Reducing the risk of ear and respiratory infections, diarrhea, and stomach problems for infants; lowering the risk of asthma, diabetes, leukemia and childhood obesity for infants; decreasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and diabetes for mothers; reducing the incidence of postpartum depression; and allowing the mother’s uterus to recover from pregnancy and childbirth more quickly.

In addition to health benefits, breastfeeding helps mom and baby bond.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has more information on breastfeeding rates in Iowa and breastfeeding support.  You can find that information at www.idph.state.ia.us/wic/Breastfeeding.aspx.

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