Drs. Oz & Roizen’s Tip of the Day: With breast-feeding comes good health

King Features SyndicateOctober 7, 2013 

Good news for the future King George (that’s Kate and William’s little prince) and all the other princes and princesses out there.

More of your moms are breast-feeding you during your first hours of arrival and for months to come. That has health benefits for you and your mom, as well as family finances and society in general.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 77 percent of U.S. moms are breast-feeding for the first six months — up from 71 percent in 2000. The CDC credits mothers’ growing awareness of the benefits, as well as programs that bring a newborn into contact with mom within the first five minutes after birth (it seems this encourages the child to express the natural impulse to breastfeed).

The rate of breast-feeding after six months also is up, from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010; and after 12 months, from 16 percent to 27 percent.

The benefits to baby? A stronger immune system. Breast-fed babies are better able to ward off ear and gastrointestinal infections and some types of dermatitis. They also grow up with a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes, asthma and obesity.

Mommy benefits? You’ll lower your weight and your risk for Type 2 diabetes, as well as postpartum depression, hypertension, heart attack, and breast and ovarian cancers.

Then there’s the health care benefits. In the U.S., breast-feeding saves around $860 million annually because of reduced medical problems for babies and moms, and that doesn’t include what’s saved at home by not having to buy formula.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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