ATLANTA — Nearly threequarters of new mothers in the United States breast-feed their babies, a new high, but they quit too soon and resort to infant formula too often, federal health officials said Thursday.
A government survey found that about 30% of new moms are feeding their babies only breast milk three months after birth.
At six months, 11% are breast-feeding exclusively.
Formula isn't as good at protecting babies against diseases, eczema and childhood obesity. Ideally, nearly all mothers should breast-feed their babies for six months or more, said Dr. David Paige of Johns Hopkins University.
What's wrong with giving a baby a bottle every once in a while?
Not much, except it can begin a pattern as a child sucks at the breast less, causing less stimulation to produce milk, Paige said.