Recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. The CDC is setting ambitious goals, hoping to see four of five moms breastfeeding their newborns. Right now, that number is 74 percent and in missouri even lower at 64 percent.
"It protects them against chronic illnesses and infections and so it does take about a full year for the benefits," Brown says.
But breastfeeding numbers fall steeply in that first 12 months. Brown says one factor is lack of family support.
"Their mom may not have breastfed and so isn't there to help her out. A lot of it is their employers when they go back to work, it's difficult to pump while you're at work," she says. "So there's some education and just society as a whole - it''s looked at as another way of feeding your child not the normal way of feeding your child."
Now Freeman is working with local health departments and other groups to educate the healthcare community, work with employers and make the choice easier for moms.