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Mothers overwhelmingly believe that breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for themselves and for their babies. Consumer research has found that mothers feel strongly that they, in consultation with their healthcare professionals, should be able to make the feeding decision that best addresses their babies’ health, their personal beliefs, and their lifestyles. A 2005 survey, by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, revealed that infant feeding decisions are based on a variety of personal, medical and logistical reasons.
Here are some stats from the national survey:
- Mothers overwhelmingly know that breastfeeding is best for babies. Almost 9 out of 10 women (85%) say breastfeeding "is healthier for the child."
- The majority of women surveyed were breastfeeding their infant or had breastfed their infant. Seventy-two percent (72%) had breastfed at least "some." Only 28% had never breastfed.
- After medical reasons, going back to work was given as the most important reason women would choose not to breastfeed, or not to continue breastfeeding. Among the major reasons for not breastfeeding, 86% said medical reasons, 62% said going back to work, 57% said problems with the baby latching on and 55% said baby not getting enough food.
Further, mothers approve of receiving infant formula samples, and they do not believe samples have much, if any, impact on a mother’s decision as to what to feed her baby. As a result, mothers oppose various proposed bans on formula sampling by wide margins.
The national survey also found:
- More than 9 out of 10 mothers (92%) approve of "doctors, hospitals and clinics providing free samples of formula to new mothers," including 76% who strongly approve.
- Mothers oppose by a 2-to-1 margin (65% to 31%) "a proposal to prohibit manufacturers of infant formula from providing samples of formula to mothers of newborn babies."
Gift bags provide moms with appropriate educational materials based on their infant feeding choices, whether they choose to exclusively breastfeed and/or formula feed. Educational materials include information on breast milk and infant formula handling and preparation, as well as newborn infant care.
Moms and the Media - Moms are speaking out in the media, click here to see their comments.