One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby's life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.
Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against:
According to the Breastfeeding Report Card - 2011 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
The large difference between the rate of mothers who have the intention of breastfeeding and those still breastfeeding at six months indicate that many obstacles exist for mothers in their attempt to breastfeed. Some of those obstacles are:
Tennessee has laws in place to support and protect breastfeeding families:
TCA 68-58-101: A mother may breastfeed in any public or private place she is authorized to be.
TCA 68-58-102: Breastfeeding shall not be considered public indecency or nudity, obscene, or sexual conduct.
TCA -68-58-103: Local governments shall not prohibit breastfeeding in public by local ordinance.
TCA 50-1-305: Employers must accommodate breastfeeding mothers at work.