A recent Canadian study points to a new benefit of breastfeeding in opposed to breast milk in a bottle or formula. Breastfeeding is linked to a smaller risk for obesity of babies as they have lower BMIs and gain weight more slowly. Having a high BMI early on in life can be linked to being overweight down the road; therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy BMI beginning as an infant. The CDC’s latest report stated that 1 in every 5 children in the United States are obese and this new research could truly impact efforts to changing this statistic. Some other benefits to breastfeeding include reduced risks of asthma, ear and respiratory infection, and type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization promotes women to exclusively breastfeed until the child is 6 months of age. However, in the United States women may struggle to the time commitment of breastfeeding. Dr Alison Volpe Holmes notes, “the United States is a member of an exclusive group of 3 nations that offer no paid maternity leave.” Consequently, many women may have to resort to using bottles in order to balance work and care. In this study, 55% of infants who were fed only breast milk did receive some in a bottle, but the researchers do say that the more breastfeeding that can be done, the better the health of the child. It is a hope that the United States will take this new research into account and provide better support and services for women with newborns.

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