Still, black women are less likely to breastfeed.
Researchers aren’t certain why but suggest several myths about breastfeeding may contribute to the decision not to breastfeed, including the notion that breastfeeding ruins the shape of breasts; formula is as good as breastfeeding, and that breastfeeding makes women fat.
Conversely, according to Dr. Young, when a woman decides not to breastfeed, her infant has a 64 percent greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, have more obese children and see an increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
August is National Breastfeeding Month and Dr. Young and other health practitioners are encouraging women to breastfeed their children for their own benefit as well as their babies.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, a worldwide organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation, also is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7. For more information on breastfeeding, go to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine website.