Pandemic Decreased Breastfeeding Rates

A new study has found that the pandemic may have resulted in decreased breastfeeding rates. The pandemic proved to be about a lot more than just a virus, and it had a huge impact on the lives of just about everyone in one way or another. It impacted couples who were trying to conceive, couples who were pregnant, and even new parents.

They struggled with their mental health, as well as the worries they had about contracting the virus. They also had limited access to services, due to lockdowns and virtual presence, and this has impacted their ability to achieve some of the goals they had wanted.

According to Medical Xpress, a new study has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic may have decreased breastfeeding rates across the country. This study was done by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and it can be read in full here.

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While not all moms want to breastfeed, there are many who have a breastfeeding goal, and despite popular belief, breastfeeding is not easy. It is something that requires work, awareness, and a bit of education. It is also what is recommended by almost all medical groups, so when the number of women breastfeeding drops, experts want to know why.

Breastfeeding has been shown to be essential for immunity, health, and the bonding between mother and child, but researchers found that mothers were less likely to breastfeed their babies during the pandemic.

What they found was that during the pandemic, there was an 11% decrease in the rates of exclusive breastfeeding and a 4% decrease in any form of breastfeeding. This was when compared to breastfeeding rates before the pandemic.

Dr. Amy Yeh, one of the experts involved, stated that breastfeeding does not come naturally to everyone, and it is something that every mother and baby needs to learn. This means they need guidance, education, and support.

When they looked for potential causes for this decrease, they found that it was likely due to the inaccessibility of services due to the pandemic. Women were not able to access programs and services to help them with their breastfeeding goals.

They are hoping that they can create task forces now that most of the country has opened up that will get that number back up. However, they are aware of all the mothers and babies who may have missed this opportunity due to the global pandemic.

Sources: Medical Xpress, AAP

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